Fostering healthy industry relationships

HOMECOMING: CPUT graduates now in the workplace came back to Granger Bay to receive trophies for excelling at their WIL.

The Faculty of Applied Sciences recently hosted a WIL industry breakfast.

Industry representatives who regularly take in CPUT students for Work Integrated Learning stints mingled with lecturers, students and WIL coordinators at the Cape Town Hotel School Restaurant on Granger Bay for a pleasant exchange of ideas.

Students who excelled at their WIL assignments were profiled in a brochure and awarded trophies for excelling at their work.

In welcoming the attendees Assistant Dean of the Faculty of Applied Sciences, Prof Joseph Kioko, said the faculty took great pride in producing relevant and employable graduates.

“This breakfast is a way to acknowledge industry effort in making this possible and we also wish to recognise and affirm the students who do really well during WIL. I recognise that they cannot do this on their own,” said Kioko.

Roberto Isaacs, environmental manager at the City of Cape Town, shared what they have learned over the years of working with WIL students. CPUT students from the Environmental Health programme do WIL four times in a year and his department is instrumental in placing students within appropriate structures and providing mentorship and guidance.

Since the City of Cape Town does not yet employ enough environmental health practitioners to service the burgeoning population they treat the students as potential employees and prepare them for the reality of work.

“Like taking students into informal settlements when some of them have never been to one. During WIL the students are exposed to all the elements of environmental health so when they leave we want to believe they leave as all-round professionals. Real life knowledge is important,” said Isaacs.

He pointed out the quality of Environmental Health students has improved over the years as the City of Cape Town provided feedback to CPUT and the programme improved its curriculum according to the needs of industry.

Isaacs mentioned two CPUT third year Environmental Health students who won national awards at the South African Institute of Environmental Health’s recent conference.  Adiela Fakier won first place while Nonkosi Somwahla picked up second place for best WIL projects.

On a provincial level Environmental Health graduates Sinesipho Mpini won first prize and Boipelo Makotong won second prize for their community service projects at the recent Environmental Health Summit in the Northern Cape held in conjunction with SALGA.

Prof Lalini Reddy, Applied Sciences Faculty WIL Co-ordinator, was pleased by the turn out: “WIL is important because it gives students first-hand experience in the workplace, so that they enter the job market better prepared. Students have the opportunity to quickly mature by developing their holistic personality.”

Written by Theresa Smith

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