(L-R) Mr Tilson Manyoni (Chair of Council); Dr Blade Nzimande (Minister of Higher Education, Science & Innovation) and Prof Lourens van Staden (Vice-Chancellor & Principal) at the Council Dialogue on 4IR and the Future of Work held at the CSIR late in 2020.
In recognition of the global impact of technology on the skills required for the current and future worlds of work, the University hosted a Council Dialogue on 4IR and the Future of Work in October 2020. Led by the Chair of Council, Mr Tilson Manyoni, the Dialogue initiated discussions between government, academia and captains of industry. It also produced invaluable insights on how TUT and indeed the entire UoT sector, in collaboration with cross-sectoral partners, can adjust to prepare students to find and create economic opportunities in these dynamic times.
A University Task Team under the leadership of Dr Vathi Papu-Zamxaka, DVC: Research, Innovation & Engagement, was then constituted to study the implementable ideas and proposed solutions emanating from this Dialogue. This ultimately resulted in the decision to establish the Institute for the Future of Work.
The strategic essence of the Institute lies in the imperative of mutually beneficial partnerships with organisations in the public and private sectors. These include institutions of higher learning with outstanding international stature, science councils, funding agencies, as well as local and multinational businesses.
The Institute will house four programmes - a Technology Hub, Smart Campus Platform, 4IR/Future of Work Research and Projects, as well as an Annual 4IR/Future of Work Dialogue.
The aim for the research conducted by the Institute to complement various research endeavours at the University’s various faculties, its centres, institutes, technology stations and incubators (CITSIs) to position TUT at the forefront of scientific discoveries in creating knowledge that works.