In early May 2019 Vodacom certified 30 unemployed youth at a graduation ceremony.
|Graduates at the Vodacom graduation ceremony | Image: Supplied|
They had just done 2 years of intense theory, practicals and work-based training in A+ (entry-level computer service professional certification), N+ (mid-level certification for network technicians) and 3G connectivity, with diplomas in IT Technical Support at its KwaZulu-Natal Youth Academy.
The graduates participated in the Vodacom 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) some of the duties included providing IT technical and data capturing support to schools and municipalities in the area.
“Given the existing ICT skills gap currently hindering the progress of South Africa’s youth, initiatives, such as Vodacom Youth Academy, are essential in the upskilling of these
young people in order to enable them to integrate into ICT-related professions. In so doing, we not only better the circumstances of unemployed youth in the country, but also
provide companies with skilled resources who effectively contribute towards the growing economy,” said Takalani Netshitenzhe, Chief Officer: Corporate Affairs for Vodacom.
For the first time in this programme, 32 IT entrepreneurs will graduate alongside the ICT skills graduates, receiving certification in business management and entrepreneurship. They 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 the Youth Academy in 2014, the purpose being to develop ICT skills in the youth of the country who would not otherwise have the opportunity to do so. The aim of the programme is to train unemployed youth for free, in ICT skills and thereafter further develop them into ICT entrepreneurs 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 Department of Basic Education, Department of Public Works, Cisco, CompTIA, Microsoft, MICT-Seta, Independent
Development Trust and the Innovator 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.
Vodacom has been celebrating the success of 367 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 May. Vodacom held its first graduation in March, in Johannesburg.
The graduation ceremony was a glitzy affair with much joy and celebration from students and their family and friends.
Guests were serenaded by songbird Nonzwakazi Maphumulo a young star herself. She is on her way to success herself.
A sign that the future of South Africa is in our youth.
This edition by Fred Felton | Twitter @fredfelton