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Deviare, Simplilearn to help reduce SA's digital skills dearth

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Local digital solutions firm Deviare has collaborated with US-based edtech company Simplilearn, to train South Africa’s corporate employees and youth in digital skills.

Deviare helps organisations build capability and capacity for digital transformation, through targeted advisory services, digital skills training and technology solutions.

The company says it combines tested methodologies with technology platforms to help organisations navigate their digital transformation journeys.

Through its online training platform, Deviare also provides youths across SA with training modules in the fields of data science, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, cyber security and software skills.

As an authorised partner, Deviare will take Simplilearn's digital training programmes to the African region, enabling learners and corporates to utilise its ‘high-touch’ learning platform.

According to the companies, the partnership is expected to benefit over 10 000 learners who are on the Deviare platform. The technical skilling programmes are accredited by the Media, Information, and Communication Technologies Sector Education and Training Authority of South Africa.

The content for each programme follows a blended learning structure in which learners will have access to live virtual classrooms and self-paced video courses offered by instructors, as well as hands-on labs for practise, according to Deviare.

Baxolile Mabinya, co-founder and executive director of Deviare, says his organisation is only too aware of the reality of the digital skills dearth in Africa, which has led to high unemployment levels, especially among the youth. “Not only is the unemployment rate extremely high, but two-thirds of those unemployed are under the age of 35. Through this partnership, Deviare has committed itself to solving this problem by training old and young people, keeping in mind that availability and access to basic digital infrastructure is a challenge in many parts of SA.”

Having had first-hand experience of how difficult it is to provide training through digital platforms in remote areas of SA, the companies say they have developed an integrated offline skills development solution that solves infrastructure challenges and offers economic opportunities for those that complete the training.

“We have developed an integrated approach that innovates around the infrastructure challenges, and one that is scalable and aims to produce thousands of skilled professionals in next-generation technologies. This has been done through the investment in mobile digital labs in conjunction with Deviare’s learning platform. Deviare and Simplilearn are providing access to quality digital learning irrespective of location, eliminating the issue of lack of infrastructure, and lowering the barriers to entry for young people in under-developed and remote areas of the country,” notes Mabinya.

Simplilearn provides outcome-based blended learning training across digital technologies and applications, to enable professionals and enterprises to succeed in the fast-changing digital economy.

Based in San Francisco, California, and Bangalore, India, Simplilearn says it has helped more than one million professionals and 1 000 companies across 150 countries get trained and acquire certifications.

“We are excited to expand our operations in Africa with our partnership with Deviare,” says Krishna Kumar, founder and CEO of Simplilearn.

“Simplilearn is committed to addressing the reskilling and upskilling need of the digital future.”

Through its partnership with the South African government last year, Deviare says it has successfully implemented training programmes to train more than 500 young people across a variety of skillsets.

“We have produced 140 data scientists, 200 cloud practitioners in both Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, 150 data engineers, 20 learners who are now proficient in machine learning on Tensorflow, and 50 cyber security practitioners,” notes Lubabalo Dyantyi, co-founder and executive director of Deviare.

“Governments and businesses are coming together to address the issues of building a relevant skilled workforce. Our collaboration with Simplilearn comes at the right time. With this association, we aim to play a big role in helping businesses across Africa navigate their digital transformation journeys.”

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