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MTN, Vodacom mark Youth Day with skills commitments

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To mark the Youth Day celebrations, SA’s top telcos have committed to empower young people with skills and resources to enable their participation in the digital economy.

MTN and Vodacom initiated various programmes after lamenting the high joblessness rate, saying South African youth are at a huge disadvantage, with youth unemployment higher than the national average, hence the need to prioritise their needs.

According to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey for the first quarter of 2022, the unemployment rate was 63.9% for those aged 15-24, while the current official national rate stands at 34.5%.

There are growing calls for corporate SA to rethink measures to stave off joblessness in the country.

Senior tech executives, such as EOH CEO Stephen van Coller and 4Sight CEO Tertius Zitzke, have in recent weeks reiterated the economy needs more relevant skills to push the country’s productivity levels up.

To contribute to this, MTN has launched the MTN Pulse campaign, giving under-25s a chance to win internships, mentorships or other skills development opportunities worth R1 million.

The company says MTN Pulse is enabling SA youth to win life-changing experiences with industry greats, plus digital services, devices and connectivity solutions.

“To assist with the alleviation of youth unemployment in South Africa, MTN Pulse is committed to equipping young South Africans with skills and resources to enable their progress,” says Mirriam Mathebula, manager: youth at MTN Pulse.

“Our youth form an integral part of growing the economy and the onus is on corporate SA to invest in equipping the youth with education, skills and opportunities to progress. Our youth are our future workforce, and only by working together will we be able to make a positive change.”

Likewise, Vodacom group CEO Shameel Joosub says his company “remains committed to accelerating access to connectivity and digital skills development for our youth”.

Joosub marked Youth Day with Vodacom’s commitment and paidg tribute to Soweto's class of 1976. “Their actions paved the way for a democratic South Africa, where the youth have a significant role to play in shaping the country’s future.

“And as the future is digital, we need to ensure the next generation is equipped with the tools and confidence to contribute meaningfully to building a better, digitally-enabled South Africa.

“Vodacom remains committed to accelerating access to connectivity and digital skills development for our youth and fostering partnerships that empower young people through technology.”

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