Tech skills training provider ALX officially opened its new tech hub in Braamfontein yesterday.
This is the second tech hub opened in Johannesburg by the company following the opening of its first in Sophiatown.
The hub’s primary objective is to provide an accessible co-working space to address the critical infrastructure challenges many South African students face, such as access to high-speed internet and stable electricity.
“This is our second hub here in Johannesburg, and it’s really great to see how the students benefit from having a space to go to,” said ALX South Africa general manager Divesh Sooka, speaking at the opening event.
“We saw during the COVID-19 lockdown that our students struggled with internet connection or having a space to use for learning.”
Accommodating up to 1 600 learners per day, the hub provides an environment where students can connect with mentors, industry professionals and other peers, fostering collaboration and innovation.
“Government, civil society and the private sector must rally to address infrastructural challenges and create opportunities for young people to acquire in-demand skills that will enable them to participate in the global digital economy,” noted Sooka.
“Our experience highlights that learners show reduced drop-off and better performance when working alongside one another. We plan to eventually have ALX tech hubs across the country to support hybrid learning on a national scale.”
Also speaking at the event, Sam Zungu, deputy director-general responsible for TVET colleges in the Department of Higher Education and Training, touched on the importance of the tech hub in driving the youth of South Africa into the tech space.
He also highlighted the importance of opening this space during Youth Month.
“This could not have come at a better time. It’s a significant month in South Africa. It marks the celebration of Youth Month. The month-long celebration is an important reminder of the role that young people play in this country and the role they play in the country’s future.”
Zungu also spoke about the country’s poor economic growth, limited job opportunities for the youth and insufficient skills among the youth.
He emphasised the importance of government solutions and private sector involvement in helping to solve the high unemployment rate among the youth.
“Confronting our youth’s digital savviness has become one of the most recent challenges faced by the youth in the 21st century. I, therefore, wish to commend ALX for launching this tech hub aimed at addressing the digital savviness of youth in South Africa.
“This initiative is in line with ALX’s mission to empower the youth through digital education,” said Zungu.