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Absa, Hein Wagner launch cyber security academy for the blind

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Absa plans to open SA’s first cyber security academy for the visually-impaired, in partnership with the Hein Wagner Academy.

The bank says the academy aligns with its long-term vision, which is focused on developing marginalised, unemployed youths in a globally scarce skill.

Successful candidates will receive a full scholarship, must be aged between 18 and 30, and will be selected based on academic performance and financial need.

Each student will receive a monthly stipend during the two-year programme.

Additionally, Absa says candidates must be previously disadvantaged, be sight-impaired (blind / visually-impaired), have a Matric or Matric-equivalent certificate with at least 50% in English, and be computer literate, with typing skills and screen reader experience.

Successful candidates will be relocated to Worcester, Western Cape, for the duration of the studies.

“This programme is part of our effort to expand the net of socio-economic inclusion for bursaries, especially to those living with disabilities, who are so often underserved,” says Manoj Puri, interim chief security officer at Absa.

“It is also aligned with our skills development strategy, which aims to build a scarce and critical capability, and we hope that candidates are as excited about the prospects that this programme offers as we are.”

Hein Wagner, founder of the Hein Wagner Academy, comments: “We commend Absa for collaborating with us in forwarding our mission to enable those living with visual loss to lead independent lives by providing specialised training that will allow them to integrate into the workforce and reach their full potential.

“This partnership will result in highly-trained cyber security specialists. In year one, we give them a strong technical foundation with three international certificates: A+, N+ and S+, over and above a national qualification and a great deal of focus on personal mastery / soft skills.

“In the second year, students learn to code in Python, CCNA DevNet (Agile) and CCNA Cyber Operations, which qualifies them as cyber security analysts. Their learning is steeped in personal mastery and ready-to-work programmes.”

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