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Vodacom Group

Vodacom launches future jobs innovation to boost digital economy employability - Aims to help 600 000 South African youth by 2022

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Vodacom, through its youth segment platform NXT LVL, today launched a future jobs programme under the banner “What will you be?”.  This latest innovation uses the Future Jobs Finder portal toprovide career guidance and access to training content to enhance the prospects of South Africa’s youth in the digital economy.

“What will you be?” is the largest Vodafone digital skills and jobs initiative of its kind in the world aiming to reach up to 10 million young people across 18 countries, including South Africa. Vodacom has its sights on helping over 600 000 young people gain the necessary skills to find work in the digital economy between now and 2022.

Vodafone, Vodacom’s parent company, commissioned a study by YouGov across 15 countries. The study surveyed youth between the ages of 18-24 in the Czech Republic, Egypt, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Turkey and UK. The study found that unemployment and underemployment remains a global challenge, with an estimated 71 million young people unemployed worldwide. In South Africa the rate of unemployment among youth is double the 27% national unemployment rate.

The survey asked 6,000 young people for their views on their future career aspirations and concerns. The findings from the Vodafone-YouGov The State of iGen research include:

  • more than two-thirds (67%) of young people interviewed said they had received insufficient or no career advice at any point in their education or since leaving school or university;
  • of those who had received careers advice during their time in education, just 15% said the career advice they had received included more future-focused digital jobs, 38% felt the advice they had received was focused purely on traditional non-digital roles and 22% said the career advice they received was ‘out-of-date’;
  • more than half (56%) believe the greatest struggle for their generation is to find any kind of well-paid permanent job, a proportion rising to 64% among young women; and
  • more than one-fifth (23%) appear to have lost all confidence, and worry they do not have the skills to take on any role, no matter how basic.

The Future Jobs Finder tool is designed to help youth develop their digital skills and access learning and employment opportunities. The tool will:

  • Analyse the user’s abilities, activities and behaviour.
  • Incorporate the user’s strengths and skills into their existing resume
  • Recommend jobs based on the user’s Personality Profiler results
  • Provide e-Learning modules geared towards enhancing digital skills
  • Direct users to suitable job listings

Matimba Mbungela, Chief Officer: HR at Vodacom says, “It’s estimated that 65% of children entering primary school will find themselves in new occupations that don’t currently exist today. The question is: are we prepared for this evolution and how do we help the youth prepare for these jobs?”

By accessing the Future Jobs Finder Tool, the youth will gain access to a range of accredited learning programmes based on the recommended jobs, namely:

  • Coursera, which has 149 university partners
  • edX, which was founded by Harvard University and MIT in 2012
  • Udacity, which has corporate partnerships with IBM, Amazon, Google and AT&T
  • Khan Academy
  • Cognitive Class AI, an IBM developed programmer
  • UDemy
  • Google Digital Garage and
  • Facebook Blueprint

“As part of our future plans, Vodacom will continue to look at opportunities to increase the number of young people brought into the company and align their experience to jobs of the future. This in addition to this latest expanded career guidance in schools to assist leaners in making better choices”, said Mbungela.

Vodacom is looking to accelerate its vison of a connected digital future by addressing the country’s substantial unemployment dilemma. In addition to Vodacom’s role as an enabler of the digital revolution, the partnership between the network provider’s Future Jobs Finder and NXT LVL platforms is opening a digital doorway for South Africa’s youth to access the things they love. The Future Jobs Finder tool is yet another example of Vodacom’s continued quest to add real value to its customers and South Africa.

In the last five years, Vodacom has trained, developed and employed over 1500 young people through the following initiatives; pre-employment programmes (bursaries full-time studies at higher learning institutions and supporting schools at grass root levels with career guidance), employability programmes (internships and learner ships), graduate programmes (focusing on scarce & critical skills) and the Columbus programme (giving exposure to internal work opportunities to high potential young talent).

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