Standard Bank to upskill youth for future of work

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 07 Jul 2022

Starting in August, Standard Bank will offer local youth a free virtual learning experience, equipping them with education and skills required for the modern world of work.

Named the Virtual Experience Programmes, the bank says youth will be able to enrol in courses covering software development, engineering, data science, and retail and investment banking.

The programmes that are currently live focus on how to access work opportunities, as well as get ready for the world of work.

“Many young individuals take up opportunities without a clear understanding of the industry or what skills their jobs will require, and the Virtual Experience Programmes aim to bridge this gap between education and industry,” says Maymoona Ismail, head of youth development at Standard Bank SA.

There’s been concerted effort from private and public sectors to educate and upskill young people with relevant skills, amid the country’s escalating youth joblessness.

South Africa’s youth unemployment rate is 63.9% for those aged 15-24 and 42.1% for those aged 25-34 years, higher than the national average of 34.5%. Additionally, only 35% of youth who seek formal employment opportunities are able to be absorbed into sustainable job opportunities.

According to Standard Bank, the virtual programmes provide access to critical components of workplace experience by way of content, case studies and assessments. There are no due dates, registration is free for students, and they are open to all.

The first self-paced programmes, which take roughly five hours to complete, offer video-guided training for skills in job searching, business communication and networking, personal branding, interview preparation, and more. Once completed successfully, students receive certificates that they can add to their resumes.

Through this programme, the big-four bank hopes to reach young individuals who are unable to access formal job opportunities, and provide an experience that equips them with skills to become more employable.

“Access to education is critical to unlocking the full potential of today’s youth, and we want to supplement their studies with insights that will allow young people to make more informed study and career decisions that lead to job creation,” adds Ismail.

“We want to empower young individuals with the right skills that are required in the modern world of work. The Virtual Experience Programmes now enable young individuals – whether they know how they want to use their existing qualifications or they’re still exploring – to access quality training, industry insights and certification completely online and at no cost.”