The Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies and coordinator of Government's 4IR programme Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, in partnership with MICT SETA, has launched a pilot skills development programme in its commitment to creating one million new jobs by 2030.
Ayanda Mbolekwa, director in the Ministry of Communications and Digital Technologies
President Ramaphosa has appointed the 4IR Commission to address, amongst other things, the skills gaps to future proof SA’s economy and reduce youth unemployment, a challenge part due to technological disruption and structural inequalities.
The pilot phase of the project aims to train and equip 1,000 unemployed youth with the 4IR ICT skills necessary to secure learnerships, employment and ultimately, start new businesses.
The skills development programme has been segmented into seven streams: Data Science, Digital Content Production, Cyber Security, Cloud Computing, Drone Piloting, 3D Printing and Software Development. The 3D Printing and Software Development stream was recently launched at the University of Johannesburg.
Over and above the core technical skills to be acquired, this intake of 259 learners from Gauteng and Mpumalanga will now be exposed to work readiness programmes and entrepreneurship skills.
FIRtech has partnered with the Ministry of Communications and Digital Technologies to deliver parts of the overall 4IR Skills Programme. With decades of experience, FIRtech offers a blend of expertise that can help shape and implement all facets of a 4IR strategy.
Other partners to the programme include the University of Johannesburg (UJ), Boston City Campus and Microsoft South Africa.
“The Fourth Industrial Revolution has changed the way we work and interact with each other. The soft skills of working with teams and service orientation are critical success factors and we plan to impart these skills during our work readiness programmes,” says FIRtech CEO Ugan Maistry.
Addressing the learners, Ayanda Mbolekwa, director in the Ministry of Communications and Digital Technologies said: “Prof. Marwala is the Deputy Chairperson of the Presidential 4IR Commission, so you can rest assured that UJ is a leader in the 4IR space and you will receive a high-quality skills programme here at UJ.”
He also thanked Microsoft and UiPath for their contribution to the Software Development programme and encouraged learners to maximise their benefit from this programme by being engaged, curious and disciplined.
In closing, Maistry remarked: “In years to come, I hope that you will reflect on this day as having been the day that has changed your life forever. This programme has the potential to change the lives of hundreds of thousands of unemployed youth by leveraging the opportunities of the fourth industrial revolution.”