Huawei ICT Academy attracts 23 local TVET colleges

Simnikiwe Mzekandaba
By Simnikiwe Mzekandaba, IT in government editor
Johannesburg, 19 Jun 2020

Chinese telecoms giant Huawei and the South African College Principals Organisation (SACPO) have partnered to cultivate ICT talent in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges.

The partnership, officially announced online today, sees 23 TVET colleges from across SA’s nine provinces enrolled to the Huawei ICT Academy Programme, making them certified ICT academies.

Furthermore, more than 200 instructors are being trained to offer Huawei-accredited courses.

Delivering the opening address, Wang Na, MD of the South African enterprise business department at Huawei SA, said the company is committed to ICT talent cultivation in the country through the introduction of blended programmes.

“The Huawei ICT Academy is a non-profit partnership programme that authorises universities and colleges to deliver Huawei certification courses to their students. The programme acts as a bridge between enterprises and academy, to build a talent ecosystem for the ICT industry.

“Through the Huawei ICT Academy, we intend to strengthen our collaboration with Technical and Vocational Education and Training colleges.”

Huawei’s ICT Academy Programme is part of its digital inclusion initiative, TECH4ALL, which is intended to expand access to and benefits of ICT training throughout the globe.

In February, Huawei pledged a $50 million five-year investment to train two million ICT professionals, as part of the next phase of the programme.

Today, the Chinese multinational revealed the ICT academies in the TVET colleges will offer Huawei certification training online and in classrooms, train instructors, support training plan design and curriculum integration, and help to maintain high training standards and participation rates.

Huawei SA CEO Spawn Fan stated: “Huawei recognises the national ICT development and investment in the fourth industrial revolution should come together with an indispensable and sustainable talent supply. This can only be achieved through the joint efforts of government, academia and industry.

“Rooted in South Africa for over two decades, Huawei will continuously invest in ICT talent development as an essential drive for South African fourth industrial revolution ambition.”

Commenting on the partnership, SACPO president Sanele Mlotshwa pointed out the courses offered by the academy will prepare students with the latest technologies and practical skills to work in the ICT industry, making them more employable and help kick-start their careers.

“The fourth industrial revolution is a reality we need to contend and deal with. This reality should not find us unprepared as COVID-19 did. The fourth industrial revolution is seen as impacting on all types of work, all types of industries and all of humanity, thus impacting on education and training.

“Academies will have a very significant impact on the sector at large and how we embrace the fourth industrial revolution.”

Higher education and training, science and innovation minister Dr Blade Nzimande commented that the Huawei and SACPO partnership feeds into the government vision of building links between post-school education and the world of work, to ensure young people have better opportunities and that the system produces the skills required by the economy.

Nzimande noted the launch of the ICT academies speaks to the department’s white paper for post-school education and training, and is within the objective of training students, especially in TVET colleges.

“South Africa faces immediate skills shortages, which are constraining investment and growth. Bold and visionary partnerships between industry and public colleges can accelerate innovation and help deliver solutions to pressing social challenges.

“This partnership with Huawei will also go a long way in making our colleges more attractive to young people,” he said.