Accenture holds STEM Hackathon to promote digital skills in SA

26 July 2019 Consultancy.co.za

Global management consultancy Accenture has conducted a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) Hackathon in Johannesburg, to promote development of skills in these fields and support young aspiring professionals with learning new age digital skills.

The event was held on the 20th of July at Rosebank in Johannesburg, and was attended by 45 young participants, who hailed from a number of regions including Alexandra, Dieplsoot and Olievenhoutbosch. The event was also used to mark Mandela Day, which is a celebration of the leader’s birthday on the 18th of July.

The objective of the programme was to improve the employability of those attending, an issue that Accenture has been actively involved in over recent years. South Africa has an unemployment rate that is amongst the highest in the world, which includes a significantly high share of youth unemployment.

Accenture holds STEM Hackathon to promote digital skills in SA

Recent reports from Accenture have indicated that this situation is set to become worse, given that the advent of automation and artificial intelligence is eliminating a number of jobs in the country, while an entirely new breed of jobs was emerging, which require the new age digital skills to carry out.

This is the opening that Accenture has recognised to help tackle the issue of unemployment. The firm has reported in the past that if the youth in South Africa are trained speedily in Industry 4.0 skills, their employability will increase manifold, not only in the South African market but across the globe.

Digital talent is in demand internationally, and developing capabilities in the field is crucial in the contemporary work environment. Knowledge of STEM fields is integral to the digital sphere, which makes Accenture’s recent Hackathon a useful way of promoting skill development to that end.

The Hackathon was practically oriented, wherein some groups were asked to develop a telegraph using day-to-day objects, while other groups were tasked with developing complex robotic models, making use of cardboard and straw. Each allowed professionals to break down complex technology into its fundamental components.


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