The Central University of Technology (CUT), Free State, has entered into partnership with Accenture, a global management consulting and professional services firm.The partnership was formalised on 25 September, with parties signing a memorandum of understanding. The purpose is to develop and equip BTech engineering and information technology students with skills that will allow them to excel in their field of work and set them apart from the rest.In terms of the partnership, the CUT is making available the infrastructure from its Faculty of Engineering and IT Department and offers access to a pool of students with related qualifications from which to select candidates. Accenture has recruited a total of 40 students for the inaugural programme. Parties agreed to host 20 candidates in Bloemfontein, while an additional 20 will be hosted in another province. This joint initiative is envisaged to boost employment opportunities via an internship programme. The programme aims to discover new talent, empower learners in areas where job opportunities are limited, as well as develop a skills base outside of South Africa’s urban hubs. “Accenture’s established internship programme, based at their Centurion Advanced Technology Centre, accommodates over 100 interns each year; presently 70% of whom secure employment opportunities with Accenture,” explained Setjhaba Moloi. He is an internship graduate who now holds the position of managing director at Accenture’s Advanced Technology Centre. Accenture will provide interns with laptops, along with an advanced skills development programme over the 12-month period. The focus of the syllabus will encompass data security, information processing, industry 4.0 technologies, modern web development, mobile application development and automation.