Limpopo – Forty-one 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, were today certified with diplomas in Information Technology Technical Support at Vodacom’s Limpopo-based Youth Academy graduation ceremony.
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.
Additionally, for the first time since the inception of the ICT skills programme, in this year’s graduation 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 Vodacom connected schools and teacher training centres.
Trainees in the programme, established in partnership with Cisco, CompTIA, Microsoft, MICT-Seta and IDT, 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.
Takalani Netshitenzhe, Chief Officer: Corporate Affairs for Vodacom Group said: “The Vodacom Youth Academy targets youth from disadvantaged background in order to inspire them to use the MICTSETA certificate to better their lives through furthering their education, looking for entrepreneurial opportunities or seeking employment. For those that get employed immediately after this MICTSETA certification, we urge them to leverage workplace opportunities to further their studies. The Youth Academy program is part of Vodacom’s contribution to societal development through education.”
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 April. Vodacom held its first graduation earlier this month, in Johannesburg.