New coding initiative to help Limpopo youth find jobs

  • The University of Limpopo is opening a new innovation lab on Wednesday and inviting young people to take part in a 10-month coding course.
  • Unfortunately, only 25 people will be able to take the course per year.
  • Despite this, local government explains that the course was specifically designed to help young people find jobs in the province.

The Limpopo government will launch a new programming skills course at the University of Limpopo on Wednesday. The programme will be marked by the opening of a new “Digital Innovation Lab” at the institution and is apparently tailored to improve ICT skills among young people in Limpopo in hopes connecting them to jobs.

Amid one of the highest unemployment rates in the world, even with a matric certificate it isn’t much easier to find employment in South Africa, so every advantage and new skills helps. In fact, your chances of finding a job with matric are just 8 percent higher than without it, according to labour stats from last year.

The innovation lab will be opened by the Minister in the Presidency responsible for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma on Wednesday. The minister is expected to deliver a keynote speech at the event, also welcoming youths to the coding and programming initiative that the lab will oversee.

According to SA News, this initiative will welcome young people to a 10-month software development course, with a curriculum that covers coding, the fundamental of programming and digital social innovation – the application of digital technologies to help with social ills.

Manufacturer Samsung South Africa, the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition and the University of the Limpopo collaborated in the development of the innovation lab.

“This historic event marks a significant step towards empowering women, youth and persons with disabilities and encouraging innovation in Limpopo to showcase and inspire similar innovative measures for other young people across the country,” Minister Dlamini Zuma’s department said in a statement. 

There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the university today, but unfortunately for the youth of Limpopo, which has the third highest unemployment of all provinces in the country, only 25 people will be able to take the 10-month course per year. This is simply not enough when more than 18 million people in South Africa are struggling to find jobs, especially those in Limpopo.

Surely the lab could include more students per course, or perhaps the course could be broken down into two courses per 10 months instead of one. This is especially relevant with elections looming in May. More needs to be done.

[Image – Photo by Kaitlyn Baker on Unsplash]


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