1500 unemployed, young people gain access to much needed skills

Through an internship programme at teacher centres across South Africa, hundreds of young people have been given access to the Microsoft Digital Literacy curriculum, which offers an introduction to ICT skills and concepts.

“Do a search for the most sought-after skills for employment in South Africa right now and, without fail, tech-related skills top that list. To fi nd jobs for the millions of young South Africans without work, many of whom have never even had access to a PC, we need to fi nd ways to equip them with these valuable skills,” says Roelof de Bruyn, Business Development Consultant of leading learning solutions provider, Masterskill.

This is where the Department of Education’s (DBE’s) District Teacher Development Centres (‘teacher centres’) come in. Thanks to a partnership between the DBE and Vodacom, 115 of South Africa’s 147 centres have been provided with Internet infrastructure, opening up a myriad of opportunities for e-learning.

At 35 teacher centres, teachers can now access the Microsoft Educator Community platform, which provides training programmes for Microsoft applications that will assist them in the classroom. To date, over 3,200 teachers have completed courses.

However, given that teachers are only at the centres in the afternoon, the DBE, Masterskill, Microsoft, MICT Seta, UNICEF and Vodacom saw the opportunity to extend the training

The internship programme has been an incredible success and highlights the long-term possibilities for e-learning at these centres.

opportunities to unemployed young people from the communities in which these centres are based; the idea being to equip them with the skills to find a job.

In April 2016, 35 technology graduates began a one-year internship through Microsoft’s Student 2 Business programme at teacher centres across South Africa. Over the course of the year the interns assisted hundreds of unemployed young people in accessing the Microsoft Digital Literacy curriculum, which gives learners a fundamental understanding of computers from computer basics to cloud services and computer security. The interns also assisted the teachers with the Microsoft Educator Community platform.