Enterprise workspace solutions provider Nashua Kopano is expanding its partnership with the Gauteng City Region Academy (GCRA) beyond funding bursaries, to providing internship opportunities for youth in ICT careers.
This follows the success of the first three years of the collaboration, during which Nashua Kopano helped to fund tertiary educational opportunities for nine students annually.
The GCRA is a Gauteng government agency that aims to build a pool of skilled and talented youth for the Gauteng region via interventions such as bursaries, internships, learnerships and skills programmes.
With the support of corporate partners such as Nashua Kopano, the GCRA is able to help create career and educational opportunities for underprivileged youth, it says.
Nashua Kopano established its partnership with GCRA in 2019, committing to providing R500 000 a year to fund the ICT-related studies of top-performing, black, female learners from non-fee-paying schools. The initiative has now been expanded to include 50% black males.
To date, it has provided bursaries to learners and extended the partnership to 2024.
The company says it is also looking to work with its business partners and stakeholders to place students in internships, to help them develop practical, on-the-job skills training and experience.
This is in line with Nashua Kopano’s commitment to develop ICT skills to help create a skills pipeline in an industry plagued by the ongoing skills shortage crisis.
Chris Kruger, MD of Nashua, says: “Funding to pursue studies and entry-level experience remain significant barriers to entry to the workplace for all too many young people in Gauteng.
“Through this partnership, we aim to not only help talented youths from underprivileged backgrounds to pay for their studies, but also to equip them with workplace experience that helps them to kick-start their careers.”
Nashua Kopano is a division of IT products and solutions provider Nashua, focusing on providing workspace solutions to large public and private enterprises.
Over the years, Nashua has evolved from a provider of office automation into an integrated ICT solutions provider, offering voice, energy, connectivity, cloud, document management solutions and access control solutions.
The companies say they will announce the opening of the bursary programme and internship applications for the 2024 cohort in due course.
Percy Moleke, CEO of GCRA, adds: “Youth development, skills creation and catalysing socio-economic opportunities are priorities for the Gauteng Provincial Government.
“We are pleased to work closely with Nashua Kopano on an initiative that is helping to enhance our province’s competitiveness and improve people’s lives by building skills and creating employment opportunities in the fast-growing ICT sector.”