Graduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are in high demand, especially if they are well prepared to be leaders in their profession. With the Employment Readiness Program, AWB is adapting a successful online training program for future leaders in the emerging economies of sub-Saharan Africa.

The Industry Immersion Program was developed by our partners, the European School of Management and Technology and the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences. The program equips STEM graduates with the additional skills and knowledge necessary to be leaders in local industry and business enterprises by way of an intensive 5-week workshop followed by an internship.

AWB’s objective is to expand the program beyond the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences so that more graduates in Sub-Saharan African can access its benefits. This will be accomplished by working with additional universities so that they are able to make the employment readiness experience an integral part of their STEM student experience – and to do so with their own staff and faculty.

The first additional university to join the program, Strathmore University in Nairobi, Kenya, was part of the formal launch of the Industry Immersion Program for 2021 on July 15. One hundred people attended the launch online, including leaders of all the partner organizations and the first cohort of students. In addition to the 11 students from Strathmore University there are 43 students from the AIMS campuses in South Africa, Rwanda and Ghana.

The five-week workshop is delivered in a blended online/face-to-face format with lectures delivered remotely by faculty from the European School of Management and Technology, University of Toronto, and University of Victoria, and group work led by tutors at each of the 4 campuses. Participants will learn the principles of management, including data analytics, finance, marketing, negotiations, and organizational behaviour. Following the workshop, they will spend three to six months interning with an industry partner and refining their skills in the workplace.

Working with our partner university so that they are able to offer the program themselves in the future is the key feature of this new AWB program. AWB expert volunteers, Tania Killian (Seneca College) and Kristin Brandl (University of Victoria) will work directly with Strathmore University, mentoring local staff and faculty so that they are eventually able to deliver and administer the employment readiness program independently.

AWB’s involvement in the program is made possible by the support of Mastercard Foundation.

For more information, contact Dr. David Dunne, Program Lead, at [email protected].