Vodacom Foundation in partnership with Department of Basic Education, MICT SETA, Microsoft, Cisco and the Innovator Trust have certified thirty seven unemployed youth, who underwent 24 demanding months of theory, practicals and work-based placement training in A+ (entry-level computer service professional certification), N+ (mid-level certification for network technicians) and 3G connectivity, with diplomas in Information Technology Technical Support.
Vodacom has been celebrating the success of young South Africans across the country, who have graduated with certified IT Technical Support diplomas from the mobile network operator’s Youth Academy during the months of March and April. In total, 367 youth will be graduating this year and brings the number of graduates from this programme to 1 333.
The graduates participated in the Youth Academy’s established programme under one of four categories including end-user computing (NQF level 3), cell phone and device repair management (NQF level 3), IT Technical Support (NQF level 4) and networking support (NQF level 5) where some of their duties consisted of providing IT technical and data capturing support to schools and municipalities in the area.
“Through this initiative, we’re not only empowering our youth to gain the necessary skills training to integrate into ICT-related professions, we’re effectively enabling them to go on to start their own businesses. In doing so, we are ensuring that they gain access to opportunities to create sustainable businesses, such as becoming service providers within their communities.” said Takalani Netshitenzhe, Chief Officer: Corporate Affairs for Vodacom Group. “As the leading mobile network operator in the country, we’re proud to partner with these young graduates on their journey of development, one that will see them go on to give back to their communities, and the country.”
Additionally, for the first time since the inception of the ICT skills programme, 32 IT entrepreneurs will also be graduating alongside the ICT skills graduates, receiving certification on business management & entrepreneurship. These students were chosen to undergo this qualification after having completed the NQF level 4 and 5 courses in the ICT skills programme.
The Vodacom Foundation founded the Youth Academy in 2014 with the purpose of developing ICT skills in the youth of the country who would otherwise not have the opportunity to do so. The programme’s objective is to train unemployed youth, for free, in ICT skills and thereafter further develop them into ICT entrepreneurs able to assist with the installation of IT equipment and provide instruction in high-end computer skills to visitors of the Academy’s training centres.
Trainees in the programme, established in partnership with Cisco, CompTIA, Microsoft, MICT-Seta and Independent Development Trust, receive accredited ICT training with the potential for beneficiaries to be offered practical experience in projects which can include IT technical support and the installation of hardware and software.
According to a report commissioned by Siemens, a potential of R4 trillion could be added to the African economy by 2026 through the adoption of digitalisation, and South Africa was found to have the highest potential to drive such innovation. However, the skilled workforce to tap into this market was found to be lacking.
Equipping the youth with transferable digital skills has been proven to not only improve their employment opportunities, but will also greatly increase the labour market as a whole, productivity, innovation and stimulate economic growth.