by AKANI CHAUKE
JOHANNESBURG – MORE than 900 South African youth have obtained relevant and practical work experience over the past five years, following an investment of over R80 million (US$5,4 million) by a broadband infrastructure provider.
Openserve, a division of Telkom, has provided the experience through internship and learnership programmes.
Almost a third of these learners and interns have been employed permanently in the business.
For the current financial year, Openserve will be developing an additional 100 learners and interns through its 24-month learnership and internship programmes.
The programmes come at a time the COVID-19 pandemic and its dire economic effects on employment opportunities for young people.
South Africa’s unemployment rate stands at 344, percent.
This is the highest rate in the history of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey.
Among the 7,8 million unemployed persons in South Africa, about 38 percent have completed grade 12 and 2,4 percent are tertiary graduates.
“The ICT sector is currently in a constant flux of change,” said Openserve Acting Chief Human Resources Officer, Justin Hughes.
He said pressures brought on the sector by COVID-19 and the realignment of business models to move from a centrally based office to remote work locations requires rapid deployment of appropriate technologies.
“It is critical that as a business we remain agile in not only our operations but in our thinking.”
Openserve has committed to building a talent pool of young people who it believes will make a mark in the sector.
The company believes the shortage of skills in the sector can be addressed through empowering the younger population and equipping them with skills and knowledge.
– CAJ News