Jendamark supports the Incubating Great Engineering Minds (iGEMS) programme, which is fostering a new generation of engineers ready to meet the demands of a tech-driven world.

Run under the auspices of the Unity in Africa Foundation, iGEMS is an education-to-employment initiative that aims to develop employable, passionate and skilled engineers, and also place work-ready graduates into the marketplace.

With artificial intelligence and robotics already prevalent in industry, the foundation believes the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) will require a niche set of graduates who are familiar with the demands of the world of work.

According to Jendamark’s apprentice co-ordinator Allan Bellairs, the company has been involved with iGEMS since 2016 and sees great value in the multi-layered approach to youth development and creating a talent pipeline.

“For us it’s about both skills development and socioeconomic development. It helps to fulfil our commitment to community engagement, while also assisting in the development of work-ready professional engineering graduates.”

The programme introduces the youth in Jendamark’s hometown of Nelson Mandela Bay to the technological revolution through annual coding and programming workshops. Weekly maths, science and leadership development sessions round out the supportive, holistic approach to education.

Aside from financial support for iGEMS, Jendamark also acts as a host company, facilitating site visits for participants, and absorbing one or two learners annually for a year of experiential learning and mentorship. This acts as a working “gap year” for learners who have successfully completed
Grade 12 before embarking on their tertiary studies.

“The student becomes a full-time employee at Jendamark for one year, experiencing the world of work, especially in relation to an engineering career such as electronics or robotics,” says Bellairs.

He says the year of work assists in making the transition to university easier as it links practical and theoretical knowledge, and creates a working relationship between student and industry.

“It really allows students the opportunity to change their interest in engineering into an absolute passion!”

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