MTN to connect SA youth to jobs with R14M digital skills course

  • The 2024 edition of the Digital Skills for Digital Jobs youth course is now looking for 900 applicants to begin the MTN-sponsored digital skills training programme.
  • Over 5 300 applications were received for the 2024 intake period, but applications are now closed.
  • 100 youths from each of the nine provinces will be upskilled in coding, AI, robotics and other essential ICT skills in the 12-month course.

One of Africa’s largest telecom groups, MTN, is looking to do its part in aiding South Africa’s youth to find meaningful opportunities for jobs, amid record unemployment rates. It announced on Monday that its MTN Foundation will provide a year’s worth of digital skills training to 900 young locals to help them find jobs

MTN is now searching South Africa for 100 young people from each of the nine provinces to take part in the 2024 Digital Skills for Digital Jobs programme, which is costing the telecom R14 million for the year.

The 900 participants will spend 12 months in an MTN-sponsored training course, that includes basic end-computing, coding, robotics, AI, and “other essential skills to prepare them for a future in the competitive IT sector,” the telecom says.

Last year, the Digital Skills for Digital Jobs youth programme received over 1 700 applications, which also had to be whittled down to just 900.

“Of these applicants, 900 (100 from each province) were selected. Of this intake, 674 completed the programme and more than 60% of the graduates were women,” says Arthur Mukhuvha, GM of the MTN Foundation.

Adding that “Digital literacy and skills are rapidly becoming regarded as fundamental skills in the workplace.”

Reflecting the current state of youth unemployment in South Africa, in 2024, MTN says it received a total of 5 330 applications between the ages of 15 and 35 for the Digital Skills programme.

This year, the 900 successful applicants will be trained by the EBL Institute and Datacomb Development Hub, both of which are designed to be inclusive and ready to upskill unemployed men and women who are not enrolled in formal education or training programmes.

“The offering includes courses ranging from the fundamentals of strategy, the Internet of Things (IoT), data and big data, cybersecurity, data analytics, and artificial intelligence to designing e-commerce websites and the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI) requirements,” MTN explains in its announcement.

The courses are aimed at offering opportunities to “those with entrepreneurial instincts, the programme includes modules on various facets of establishing a business, life skills, career, and personal development.”

At the end of the programme, those participants who manage to complete it will receive SETA-accredited certificates

“As a leading tech-based company, we regard it as our duty to encourage interest in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, which are essential for South Africa to take its rightful place on the international business stage” adds Mukhuvha.

“By assisting these vulnerable people with the skills necessary to achieve their dreams, we are making tangible contributions to strengthening the socio-economic fabric of our country,” the MD concludes.

The 2024 edition of the MTN Digital Skills for Digital Jobs programme is currently ongoing, with no more youth applications being accepted. More information on next year’s intake period will be revealed on the EBL Institute’s website in due time.


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