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New tech hub to help address youth unemployment

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 29 Jun 2023
Zureida Ebrahims, COO of Old Mutual; Julian Joshua, executive director  of Old Mutual Tech Hub; May Govender, acting CIO, Old Mutual; and Mxolisi Kaunda, mayor or Ethikwini.
Zureida Ebrahims, COO of Old Mutual; Julian Joshua, executive director of Old Mutual Tech Hub; May Govender, acting CIO, Old Mutual; and Mxolisi Kaunda, mayor or Ethikwini.

Old Mutual has opened a tech hub in Durban to help curb youth unemployment.

The company says the initiative is part of its corporate 2030 service strategy, which aims to roll out innovative digital experiences and financial solutions for customers. 

This requires a sufficient supply of relevant skill sets and the objective of the tech hub is to provide local IT talent with career opportunities. A team of expert techies have been recruited to ensure the hub delivers strategic business goals.

According to Statista, in the first quarter of this year, the total number of unemployed youth (15 – 34 years old) increased by 241 000 to 4.9 million and the youth unemployment rate increased by 1.1 percentage points to 46.5%.

Zureida Ebrahim, COO of Old Mutual, says, “In a post-pandemic world, African techies are working remotely for companies worldwide. For institutions like Old Mutual, the implications are increasing competition for talent and rising costs. Countering this trend means focusing attention locally and building staff models based on the strategic locations available locally and assessing demand and supply for skills.”

A team of expert techies have been recruited to ensure the hub delivers strategic business goals.

May Govender, acting CIO at Old Mutual, says Durban has a good pool of tech skills, some of the country’s top technology tertiary institutions, and is a chosen location for some large tech companies. "Old Mutual has partnered with four of the leading tech institutions in KZN, two of which are ranked in the top five in South Africa," she adds.

The four partners are Durban University of Technology, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Richfield, and Eduvos.

The Old Mutual Tech Hub already has a staff complement of just over 40 comprising software engineering, information security and data skills, among others.

Govender believes this staff complement will grow to over 100 in 2024.

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