Accenture partners with JCSE to offer skill training to youth in Johannesburg

17 January 2019

In keeping with its growing profile across South Africa, global management consultancy Accenture has announced a joint partnership with the Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct (TDIP) and the Johannesburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE) to offer training and job opportunities for certain sections of the youth.

The beneficiaries of the partnership hail primarily from the vulnerable communities in South Africa, those in particular need of employment. South Africa currently suffers from an unemployment rate of nearly 30%, while the unemployment rate amongst the youth is as high as 36%.

The new initiative hopes to train the youth in order to make them more eligible for high skill jobs, while offering job opportunities where it is feasible. Accenture is well aware of the evolving nature of skills required in order to sustain one’s job in the age of automation, which indicates scope for success.

One of the key skills that the programme has focused on is coding skills, administered through fortnightly coding training sessions at Accenture offices as well as an hour-long coding workshop that was attended by as many as 65 young participants from Johannesburg.

Accenture partners with JCSE to offer skill training to youth in Johannesburg

An event held at the end of last year even felicitated those participants graduating from the coding sessions. In addition, the event was used as a platform to announce a continuation of the partnership between Accenture and JCSE into 2019 and the initiation of the Coder Dojo programme that will take place at the TDIP.

Commenting on the event,  Head of Corporate Citizenship and Inclusion and Diversity Lead for Accenture in Africa Khetiwe Nkuna said, “Our focus is on both teaching ICT skills and proving work in the field – spanning training, placements and jobs for vulnerable youth.”

“When we compare ourselves to other Brics countries, we are punching below our weight when it comes to technology, mainly because of our education system. For example, in India, coding and technology education are entrenched and start early. Coding is one of the basic enablers allowing people to access opportunities within the digital economy. There’s definitely an opportunity in South Africa that needs to be accelerated. Last year, we trained 1700 young people and placed them in employment – the majority in programming. We continue to see the demand for those skills,” he added.

Professor Barry Dwolatzky at the JCSE added, “We’ve even seen a national proposal that coding become our 13th official language, sign language being the 12th. If South Africa and Africa more broadly are going to compete in the 4th Industrial Revolution, we need to have our people equipped to be able to play a role.”


Applications are open for IBM and YIEDI's Techscale programme in South Africa

27 March 2019

Global IT services giant IBM is increasing its involvement in South Africa’s rapidly expanding tech environment, through the launch of its Techscale programme in the country. The six-month training programme will be implemented by the Youth Innovation Entrepreneurship Design Institute (YIEDI).

YIEDI is based in Johannesburg, and has been offering a wide variety of consulting services across South Africa since its establishment in 2014. Its service offerings include e-learning and education development, as well as support with entrepreneurship and innovation development.

The firm is focused on helping new businesses, and offers incubation management, strategy consulting, design thinking and creativity training to this end. YIEDI is also a level 1 B-BBEE contributor, which makes it the ideal firm to administer the Techscale programme designed by IBM.

The programme is killing two birds with one stone by offering support to tech firms working in a number of specified domains, under the condition that the firms are black owned. The candidate firms must have significant operations in the tech space, defined by a turnover in excess of R500, 000.

Applications are open for IBM and YIEDI's Techscale programme in South Africa

If the above turnover is not matched, then candidates must have secured contracts worth the same amount. Firms must also have been in existence for more than a year. In addition, the firms must specifically operate in the financial services, healthcare and telecom sectors to get support.

IBM’s support will come in the form of access to its vast network of global leaders in the tech industry, who will be in the position to advise budding firms in South Africa with navigating the increasingly challenging digital and regulatory environments. Themes explored under the programme will include business development and investor readiness.

The programme is particularly relevant in the current economic environment across South Africa. The country has turned to innovation and growth in the tech space in order to rescue its economy from the turbulence that was brought about by the dip in oil and commodity prices in recent years.

Small and medium enterprises in particular are looking to integrate new technology within their operations in order to accelerate growth and scale in their businesses. Applications to IBM’s Techscale programme are now open, and will close on the 10th of April before the results are announced at the end of the same month.