A new digital skills partnership has been formed by key stakeholders in the local digital industry to transform traditional employment pathways into jobs for unemployed youth.

The partnership, which comprises of the Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, Cape Innovation & Technology Initiative (CiTi), Explore Data Science Academy, WeThinkCode, Tshimologong Precinct Digital Skills Academy and the Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE) at Wits University.

The group adds that this partnership is designed to accelerate the pipeline of digital and tech skills and create new jobs and develop inclusive hiring pathways.

“The future of the global economy is a digital one. For South African businesses to play their role and to participate meaningfully will require a change in emphasis to a more digitally literate and equipped workforce,” said CEO of CiTi Ian Merrington.

The partnership will train 5 000 young people over the coming years, with a focus on giving them skills in digital jobs that include junior coders, data analysts, junior data scientists and software developers.

Furthermore, they’ll aim to establish a new way of matching young people with potential to different tech professions.

This will be done by creating universally accepted assessments that are driven by inclusion, developing alternate and more affordable pathways to these careers that may not require a university degree and unlocking new financing mechanisms through a social impact bond, according to the group.

“Building on a tried-and tested skills development programmes has a far greater prospect of achieving ambitious targets, rather than starting a new initiative from scratch. We are really excited to be part of this important partnership,” noted director of JCSE, prof Barry Dwolatzky.

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