On Wednesday 9 December 2015, Lillian Bususu, Graduate Development Manager at Rosebank College, an educational brand of the Independent Institute of Education was bestowed the prestigious Youth Employment Award, by the South African Council for Graduates Cooperative at a high level event held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Rosebank Johannesburg. At the same ceremony Bususu was also invited to serve in the President Zuma’s Presidential Youth Working Group, a committee whose purpose it is to advise the President on matters affecting youth and influence the implementation of government policies in promoting youth and graduate empowerment. Bususu has been invited to serve in the committee from January 2016.

The award ceremony, which was attended by the top brass of the Advtech Group and Thamsanqa Maqubela, The Executive Chairman of the South African Council for Graduates Co-operative, celebrated Bususu who is the first student development practitioner to join the ranks of leaders such as President Jacob Zuma to receive such an award. President Zuma received his Champion’s Category award in June 2015.

Greg Fillmore, the Managing Director of Rosebank College, took to the stage to welcome all those in attendance while also congratulating Bususu on her accomplishment saying that the award acknowledged the day to day work performed by Lillian with so much passion.

“Lillian Bususu was the obvious winner of this award because she has been running the Graduate Empowerment Programme at Rosebank College for a long time and she has statistics to show for it. Her work has made an impact and she makes graduate development look so easy when it is in fact tough work that requires emotional and personal sacrifice,” said Maqubela.

According to Maqubela this award is a hallmark of effective contribution towards the goals of the National Development Plan and the Youth Employment Accord. Maqubela praised Rosebank College for being the only tertiary institution in South Africa that prioritizes job placement of its graduates. Rosebank College established the Graduate Empowerment Programme four years ago to address the high unemployment rate of graduates in South Africa. Through career coaching sessions, graduates are prepared for the world of work by Lillian and her team of career coordinators which are placed at all Rosebank College campuses across South Africa. In 2015 alone Rosebank College has placed over 2500 graduates in employment.

“The South African Council for Graduates Co-operative is proud to be associated with the IIE and the Advtech Group. It is through partners such as Rosebank College that we can promote the goals of the National Development Plan to increase employment of youth,” Maqubela emphasised. “Working together with our partner institutions such as the EWSETA, national Department of Public Works, AIDC, LGSETA, Rand Water and others we are determined to increase a pool of competent youth and graduates to grow the economy of South Africa and compete globally.”

“Lillian has made an incredible contribution to the lives of so many people and it is right that she should be recognised in this way, we are so proud of her,” said Felicity Coughlan, Director of the Independent Institute of Education (The IIE). Lillian is not only making a difference to these individuals but she is changing perceptions about the contribution graduates from private institutions can make and she is thus changing society as a whole – she is matching need with skills and addressing key concerns in the economy as a result,” added Coughlan.

Over 20 receipts have been recognised by The South African Council for Graduates Co-operative and many of these winners are in the private sector. The award system is based exclusively on invitation only and leaders in the private sector, government and civil society are nominated based on their contribution towards youth employment.

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