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Huawei commits $150m to ICT talent development globally

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Communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams and the 2020 Seeds for the Future cohort.
Communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams and the 2020 Seeds for the Future cohort.

Technology company Huawei has urged South African ICT students to apply for the 2021 Seeds for the Future Programme, which takes place online again this year.

This comes as Huawei announced plans to invest $150 million (R2.2 billion) globally over the next five years, as part of the next phase of the digital talent development initiative.

Huawei made the announcement to mark this year’s Youth Skills Day, which shines light on the importance of equipping young people with skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship.

Chairman Liang Hua announced Huawei’s Seeds for the Future Programme 2.0, saying: “As part of our commitment to continuously developing talent, we will invest $150 million in this programme over the next five years, and help university students and young people improve their digital skills. This programme is expected to benefit another three million people.”

Seeds for the Future aims to help cultivate young talent around the world, providing training from ICT experts on the latest technologies to develop the skills and mindsets needed to be competitive in the workplaces of the future.

The programme is carried out in partnership with governments and academia. In SA, it was initiated in 2016, in partnership with the then telecoms and postal services department, now known as the Department of Communications and Digital Communications (DCDT).

In the past, university students would be chosen from various institutions across SA to travel to China for the two-week study trip. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ICT training course is hosted online.

Huawei notes that applications for South African students to participate in the 2021 online programme are currently open.

Communications and digital technologies minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, whose department is committed to equipping a million young people with ICT-related skills by 2030, encourages qualifying students to apply for this year’s programme.

She says: “The speed of change in technology demands an equal speed in acquiring the skills that the industry demands. Our partnership with Huawei supports our National Digital and Future Skills Strategy. We acknowledge Huawei’s commitment to training our future ICT leaders and wish the Seeds Class of 2021 the very best learning experience.”

According to Huawei, the application package should contain a completed application form, with personal details such as name, gender, race, date of birth and motivation for selection.

Furthermore, it should include academic records, including a report for the last academic year and current progress, ID copy, recommendation or reference letter from faculty/division head (optional, prefer to have), CV (optional), as well as any supporting documents.

Interested applicants should submit their applications by e-mailing saseeds@huawei.com and mtau@dtps.gov.za before 23 July.

Huawei and the DCDT will select the best suitable candidates based on their written submissions and online interviews to determine the final students by 29 July.

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