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MTN’s ‘Digital Skills for Digital Jobs’ programme benefits 900 youth

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 13 Jul 2023

MTN SA Foundation has launched its “Digital Skills for Digital Jobs” programme, which is set to benefit up to 900 currently unemployed young people across the country.

According to the company, this initiative is the first of its kind in the foundation's portfolio, and is focused on addressing the issue of youth unemployment in South Africa. It combines digital qualifications with life and entrepreneurship skills.

“Our main aim is to ensure local skills align with the demands of the fourth industrial revolution and enable South Africans to participate meaningfully in the African digital advertising market, which is growing every day,” says Arthur Mukhuvha, general manager of the MTN SA Foundation.

“We are seeking to provide a meaningful roadmap to employment and success for the 2023 beneficiaries who started the pilot programme at the beginning of June – appropriately Youth Month in South Africa. The selected participants will undertake three months of digital marketing training skills, followed by two months of life skills and entrepreneurship training."

The course, accredited by the Media, Information and Communication Technologies Sector Education and Training Authority, covers various skills taught in one-week training blocks.

MTN explains that participants will learn how to design and build a website using HTML, understand website development tools and products, and create and manage e-commerce websites.

The life skills and entrepreneurial module includes soft skills development, such as creating CVs and a week-long course on starting a business.

It adds that the programme is supported by certain regional municipalities across South African provinces, the National Youth Development Agency and the City of Johannesburg, which will assist graduates with employment opportunities.

Offered to 900 selected recipients, the programme will be run over a period of 12 months across all nine provinces. Primary beneficiaries will be ICT sector job-seekers, disenfranchised black women, youth and people with disabilities.

“South Africa’s youth unemployment rate has reached crisis levels. According to Stats SA, young people aged 15-24 and 25-34 are the most vulnerable, with the unemployment rate in these age groups reaching 63.9% and 39.9%, respectively. Putting this in perspective, it means that of the 10 million people between the ages of 15 and 24, only 2.5 million were in the labour force last year,” says Makhuvha.

“Facing and reducing these concerning statistics is the responsibility of the public and private sectors. We must provide opportunities to create a culture of learning in which science, technology, engineering and mathematics are focus areas. It’s up to us to work together to enable young South Africans to compete internationally in the sector.

“The MTN SA Foundation has a long-standing commitment to supporting technical and digital education. The addition of our Digital Skills for Digital Jobs programme is an investment in our belief that effective STEM training should be relevant and meet the evolving demands of the ICT sector,” concludes Mukhuvha.