Apr 4, 2019Vodacom empowers 45 unemployed Lady Frere youth with ICT skillsLady Frere – In a continued effort to equip youth with digital skills and prepare them for today’s job market, Vodacom held yet another Youth Academy graduation ceremony, this time in Lady Frere, Eastern Cape.Forty five graduates from the province 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, were today certified 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. The 367 youth who will be graduating this year bring 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.“As part of Vodacom’s drive to create opportunities for unemployed youth, we are proud to be opening the door for youth to access skills development that will enable them to access opportunities they ordinarily would not have had access to in the past,” said Takalani Netshitenzhe, Chief Officer: Corporate Affairs for Vodacom.”The skills training provided through our Youth Academy is aimed at bridging the skills gap that currently exists within the country’s ICT sector and equipping them with the necessary tools to thrive in an ever-increasing digital society. By empowering the youth today, we can enable them to empower those around them, and equip them with the required skills to enter the digital workplace of tomorrow.” Vodacom programme seeks to equip unemployed youth with ICT skills for freeAdditionally, 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 with the capabilities 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 The Department of Basic Education, MICT-SETA, Cisco, CompTIA, Microsoft, 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.A potential R4 trillion that could be added to the African economy through the adoption of digitalisation was identified in a recent study, 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,” concluded Netshitenzhe.Follow more RNEWS articles, subscribe to our YouTube channel and for breaking news LIKE us on Facebook. For news on the Western Cape click here.