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Is tech training the answer to unemployment for SA youth?


Johannesburg, 14 Jun 2024
From March to April 2024, the Microsoft Security Youth Project focused on addressing South Africa’s cyber security skills gap.
From March to April 2024, the Microsoft Security Youth Project focused on addressing South Africa’s cyber security skills gap.

In an era where technology is reshaping the global economy, CTU Training Solutions and Microsoft have partnered to equip South African youth with the skills needed to thrive in the digital age. This collaboration is making significant strides in closing the tech skills gap and fostering economic growth.

Bridging the digital divide: The Microsoft AI Youth Project

Launched in February 2024, the Microsoft AI Youth Project has provided over 220 unemployed youth with vital AI skills across CTU’s 12 campuses. The curriculum included AI-900 Microsoft Azure AI Fundamentals and AI Solutions with Azure OpenAI Service (AI-050), preparing learners for international certifications and enhancing their employability in the tech sector.

Key achievements:

Certification success: 57% of participants passed the AI-900 certification exam on their first attempt, while 43% are preparing for a second attempt.

Holistic training: The programme combined technical training and workplace readiness training.

Positive feedback: Participants highlighted the programme’s engaging and high-quality instruction, highlighting the transformative impact on their careers.

Securing the future: The Microsoft Security Youth Project

From March to April 2024, the Microsoft Security Youth Project focused on addressing South Africa’s cyber security skills gap. Training 100 learners across multiple campuses, the project covered Microsoft security, compliance and identity fundamentals, and provided hands-on experience with tools like Microsoft 365 Defender and Microsoft Sentinel. CTU ensured participants were well-prepared to safeguard digital assets in the modern workplace.

Key achievements:

  • High engagement: Learners earned numerous SC-200, SC-900 and SC-500 badges, indicating mastery of the course material.
  • Course satisfaction: An average rating of 4.40 out of 5 reflects the programme’s effectiveness.
  • Practical benefits: Learners emphasised the training’s practical benefits and real-world applicability.

Empowering through Microsoft 365: The Socio-Economic Development Project

Initiated in May 2024, the Socio-Economic Development Project trained 140 learners in Microsoft 365 administration. The project aimed to enhance employability and contribute to economic stability by providing skills in high demand within the tech industry. The curriculum included Microsoft 365 fundamentals, administrator roles and advanced AI tools like Copilot for Microsoft 365.

Key achievements:

  • Comprehensive skills acquisition: Participants earned 77 MS-900 badges, 128 MS-102 badges and 133 MS-4006 badges, demonstrating a thorough understanding of Microsoft 365 applications.
  • Widespread impact: Training was conducted across major provinces, ensuring broad accessibility and inclusivity.
  • Participant satisfaction: Learners praised the thoroughness of the training and the instructors’ ability to make complex topics accessible.

Future direction and commitment

The consistent success of these projects underscores the robust partnership between CTU and Microsoft. By integrating technical training with professional readiness workshops, these initiatives are laying the groundwork for long-term socio-economic development in South Africa.

Empowering Through Microsoft 365: The Socio-Economic Development Project.
Empowering Through Microsoft 365: The Socio-Economic Development Project.

As Youth Day approaches, celebrating the role of young people in South Africa’s history, CTU and Microsoft’s efforts highlight a continued commitment to youth empowerment. These initiatives are transforming lives, fostering economic growth and preparing a skilled workforce for the digital age.

As CTU and Microsoft continue to expand their impact, they reaffirm their dedication to education, empowerment and the socio-economic advancement of South Africa.

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