Vodacom empowers youth through ICT skills development
BRAND VOICE | In an effort to tackle unemployment and help improve quality learning, particularly in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector, the Vodacom Foundation has trained 972 unemployed young people across the country since the inception of the Vodacom Academy programme in 2013.
The country’s skills development and unemployment rates remain high. In an attempt to respond to this challenge within the ICT sector, the Vodacom Foundation has partnered with Cisco, Mict-Seta and the Independent Development Trust to help empower unemployed youths with skills training and learnership placement.
The skills training seeks to equip the youths with relevant ICT skills to assist with the installation of IT equipment and provide instruction in high-end computer skills. As part of the initiative, the youths received training in A+, N+ and 3G connectivity, CCNA and IT security.
On Thursday, 55 young people received SAQA-accredited National Certificates in IT support level 4 and Cisco-certified network administration certificates at level 5 from Mict-Seta and the Department of Higher Education. The graduation ceremony was held in Worcester, Western Cape.
During the financial year ended March 31 2017, a total of 367 youths across the country received much-needed training and work experience in government institutions. Importantly, 25% of those young people have now secured permanent employment.
Speaking on behalf of Vodacom, Mthobeli Tengimfene, executive head of the Vodacom Foundation, said: “This is Vodacom’s contribution towards development of skills that support job creation for unemployed youth. Besides our core business, we are also committed to doing what we can to stimulate skills development and job creation within the ICT sector. Through the ICT skills training, we are now able to fulfil this commitment and play an active role in the creation of job opportunities for young people.”
Following the training, some of the youths will be able to support the network of schools connected via the Vodacom Mobile Education programme; resell Vodacom products; and develop mobile applications.
The top achiever in the programme, Nombulelo Sishange, said when the opportunity to study arose, she grabbed it with both hands. She said she had always wanted to study but when her mother lost her job while she was doing matric in 2013, she lost hope.
“I joined a community organisation where they gave us learnership forms to study and I applied last year. They then called me to do tests in June, which I passed. I immediately started studying at Umbilo Centre.”
She said it was tough but she made sure she worked hard. “I’m now reaping the fruits of my sleepless nights. Thanks to Vodacom for this opportunity.”
As a caring company with an 18-year history of giving back to communities, the Vodacom Foundation is also committed to easing the cost conundrum that young job seekers face. Vodacom launched Vodacom NXT LVL Careers in June 2016. The programme is aimed at young job seekers and lets them browse for jobs, upload CVs and apply for available positions for free.
Access to the careers portal is zero-rated for Vodacom subscribers. NXT LVL Careers can be accessed through the www.vodacom.co.za website.
Vodacom takes every opportunity with its network to deliver social offerings through its zero-rated offers to customers. Other Vodacom zero-rated sites include the Mobile Education programme and the Vodacom Tries for Books campaign.
Mobile Education is Vodacom's holistic approach to ensuring sustainable benefits to educators and learners by providing internet connectivity, ICT equipment, content, and teacher training through 81 ICT centres across the country.
Vodacom Tries for Books is an educational content application that is freely available on tablets at the 81 Vodacom ICT resource centres across the country. The e-library contains e-books made available by publishing partners including Via Afrika, Oxford University Press, Shuter & Shooter Publishers and FunDza Literacy Trust. Internet connectivity and access to the e-libraries are free.
The Vodacom e-school programme and other university initiatives such as the extension of zero-rated education access and the broadening of the National Student Fund Aid Scheme applications submission further show Vodacom’s commitment to the digitisation of education through its e-learning programmes.
These interventions illustrate Vodacom’s core belief that ICT and mobile technology can be used to improve and advance learning, address skills development and help find employment. The Vodacom e-School portal, launched in January 2015 in partnership with the Department of Basic Education, is a prime example of how Vodacom is contributing to society.
– Business Day in association with Vodacom Foundation