Skills-development programmes equip SA youth with ICT skills

January 30th, 2019, Published in Articles: PositionIT

With the unemployment rate among young people (aged 15 to 34 years) being 38,2%, it is not surprisingly that many youths are despondent and discouraged by the lack of opportunities available to them to acquire skills through education and training. It is this gap that the Datatec Foundation intends to fill, supporting programmes that can help upskill the youth and enable them to gain the necessary skills to become economically active through employment and entrepreneurship.

One of the initiatives supported by the foundation is the Siyakhula Computer School, which offers low-cost, high-quality computer-literacy training. The majority of students remain first-time computer users looking to acquire end-user computer skills. The school aims to help previously disadvantaged youth get the opportunity to enter the job market. The Datatec Foundation has been a key enabler and initiator of the school and has been supporting them for over 15 years. The school trained 1700 students during the course of 2018 across its five centres in Gauteng including Ivory Park, Diepsloot, Zandspruit, Thohoyandou and Soweto. Training is provided in Microsoft Office products like Word, Excel and PowerPoint. The school also sustains employment for eleven local community members.

Students at the Siyakhula Computer School.

Students at the Siyakhula Computer School.

Another initiative that the foundation supports is VMite a non-profit IT training organisation that provides technology skills training to unemployed youth in the Nelson Mandela Bay region. This includes vendor-accredited programmes that are in demand in the IT industry which helps eradicate youth unemployment specifically in Uitenhage.

Afrika Tikkun has also been a beneficiary of the Datatec Foundation for many years. In July 2018 Afrika Tikkun launched its first ICT Academy which forms part of their Career Development Programme. The academy teaches basic IT skills as well as coding skills. In this way it enables young people to become economically empowered by giving them work-readiness training and industry specific skills to make them employable or start their own businesses.

The foundation has recently started backing Code4Change, an NPO that is brings coding to secondary schools in the country. Code4Change recognises that the language of the future is code and gearing the youth with this must-have skill will have a massive impact on youth employment. The NPO is currently working with 20 schools around Gaugteng through their CodeJika school clubs project – an ecosystem of learner-run coding clubs.

Contact Datatec, Tel 011 233-1000, info@datatec.com

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