from DION HENRICK in Cape Town
CAPE TOWN – SOME 50 young people from the Eastern Cape will be embarking on an eight-month information and communications technology internship courtesy of the Coega Development Corporation (CDC).
The initiative follows the realisation that youth constitute the largest percentage of unemployed people in South Africa.
It has been widely reported that young people are among those who have been hardest hit by unemployment and deepening poverty since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Unemployment is highest among those aged 15-24 years, at 64,4 percent, and 25-34 years at 42,9 percent, according to Statistics South Africa.
Coega’s ICT internship is in line with government’s policy, particularly, the Digital and Future Skills Strategy of the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT), and National Development Plan (NDP) Vision 2030 to eliminate poverty, reduce inequality and unemployment.
The project supports ICT skills development towards improved employability.
“This is the first time that we are rolling out an ICT internship of this magnitude. Through a rigorous recruitment process, we know that only the best candidates have been selected,” said Craig Luckman, Programme Manager for Human Capital Solutions (HCS) at the CDC.
The Media, Information and Communication Technologies Sector Education and Training Authority (MICT SETA) funds the internship programme.
The CDC, Nelson Mandela University (NMU) and Amandla Obunye facilitates the programme.
“We are excited about this journey, and we look forward to the road ahead,” affirmed Johan Botha, Project Manager at the Centre for Community Technologies at NMU.
CDC’s partnership with MICT SETA will see the two organisations working together with NMU and Amandla Obunye to address graduate youth unemployment, as part of the Presidential Youth Unemployment Initiative.
The programme also enables the development of robust local ICT skills in support of the National Innovation Roadmap and the National 4IR Strategy.
Andile Nene, Regional Manager for MICT SETA, said the world was moving into new technologies and occupations are slowly changing.
“As a result, we need to train as many young people as we can, and think about reskilling our workforce for the future,” Nene said.
– CAJ News