BMW IT Hub partners with the University of Pretoria to upskill young South African talent

Posted on November 22, 2022

The BMW IT Hub has collaborated with the Department of Informatics in the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology (EBIT) at the University of Pretoria (UP). The partnership aims to strengthen the development of South Africa’s IT talent pipeline – an ongoing initiative undertaken earlier in the year. The agreement was signed on 28 June 2022.

Professor Jan Eloff, Acting Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and IT commented that this Faculty is home to a generation of leaders and innovators. “We are grateful for the collaboration with our industry leaders that makes it possible for us to deliver graduates who possess highly technical skills and process-thinking abilities and are problem solvers. We are committed to remaining relevant and addressing the challenges of the future of work.”

The agreement between BMW IT Hub and UP reflects BMW Group South Africa’s commitment to the facilitation and development of the information and communications technology (ICT) skills talent pool of local young students, aided by the University. In an increasingly digital world, this partnership is a proactive response to the need for future-proof skills, particularly in artificial intelligence (AI) and data analysis.

These students will support BMW Group South Africa in growing and maintaining software within its IT business, and ultimately, these new technologies, techniques, and unique perspectives will benefit South Africa. The final-year students are given the opportunity to explore the Extended Enterprise Project and the honours students will be involved in research fields for AI (platform and conversational), e-invoicing, and cloud adoption.

Overall, BMW IT Hub intends for the students to become well-versed in its topics and solutions. The intellectual property from the projects is transferred to the Hub for exploration or refinement, which amplifies the scope for innovation. BMW Group South Africa is also a bursary sponsor for the selected students in collaboration with the University.

This symbiotic collaboration enables the students at UP real-life work experience while opening the channels for new and innovative thinking within the BMW IT Hub.

“We are committed to empowering more young South Africans with the knowledge, skills, and experience that they require to succeed in the future world of work. We are proud to support youth development and ICT education in South Africa and I believe that investing in our youth will prove fruitful for the country and its economy. The BMW IT Hub is the fastest-growing business unit in the BMW Group and as a centre of excellence, we must continue to integrate dynamic talent – these students are just that,” Klaus von der Osten-Sacken, BMW Group South Africa Director for Digital and Global Solutions, commented on the collaboration.

- Author Prof Hanlie Smuts
Published by Hlengiwe Mnguni

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