Managing Director, Dr Ahmed Shaikh with winning student, Velani Michael Khambule. The Chesterville resident impressed the judging panel by designing a prototype for a kettle that is digitally-controlled by an Arduino board. Picture: Supplied

When Durban’s Velani Michael Khambule was handpicked as part of a high-performing group of students for a pioneering programme at Regent Business School's new iLeadLAB, the Employability Unit, he had no idea how life-changing the experience would be.

The 24-year-old Chesterville resident has been lauded for his design innovation after conceptualising and producing a prototype for a kettle that is digitally-controlled by an Arduino board. 

Khambule and nine other students were put through an intensive 10-day bootcamp at iLeadLAB – an innovative education programme aimed at bridging the gap between graduates and 21st century employability.

Regent Business School managing director, Dr Ahmed Shaikh, says the new creative hub is a response to a growing global demand by employers who require employees with work-ready skills and who can make a meaningful contribution to the organisation they are employed at. 

This includes having exemplary inter- and intra-personal skills and tools such as empathy, a collaborative mindset, effective communication and the ability to solve problems creatively and can boldly innovate in technologically-evolving 4IR world of work.

“According to the International Labour Organisation, there are a quarter of a billion unemployed graduates globally – that’s 250 million young people around the world who have qualifications but who are unable to enter the formal economy,” explains Shaikh. 

“Imagine the positive impact on their localised communities and societies if we could transform them into entrepreneurs! Innovation in education is one of the key drivers for us at Regent Business School, and the iLeadLAB is aimed at empowering young people and mid-career individuals with the core skills and competencies required by employers today.”

During the 10-day bootcamp, Khambule and nine others students received all-round, hands-on training that included the art of successful communication, digital literacy, 3D and 4D printing, the use of AI, robots, VR, software in business, art and environment.

For Khambule, who graduated with a BCom degree from Regent Business School this year, the experience was like no other. “I always wanted to be employed. My exposure at the iLeadLAB has changed this perspective. It brought out a creative side of me that I didn’t even know that I had! For the first time, I am now thinking of entrepreneurship.”