The Vodacom Foundation Youth Academy, which was founded in 2012, has unpacked its latest initiative to help unemployed youth develop skills for the Information Technology(ICT) sector.

This year the Foundation celebrated the successful graduation of 367 students countrywide, that will occur during March and April.

According to the Foundation, they train youth for free in ICT skills and thereafter further develop them into ICT entrepreneurs that are able to assist with installation of IT equipment and provide instruction in high-end computer skills to visitors of Vodacom’s Teacher Training centres and connected schools.

“As a purpose led organisation that seeks to transform society through the use of ICT, this initiative forms part of the organisation’s commitment to help contribute towards the creation of skills development and job creation opportunities by exposing the youth, who would not ordinarily have had access to such skills, with training in order to help close the skills gap within the country’s ICT sector,” said chief officer of corporate affairs for Vodacom Group, Takalni Netshitenzhe.

Earlier this week a graduation ceremony took place in Kempton Park, Johannesburg, where 74 out of the 367 unemployed youth were conferred with diplomas in IT Technical Support.

The organisation added that the graduating youth had to undergo 24 months of theory, practical and work-based placement training in A+ entry-level computer service professional certification, N+ mid level certification for network technicians and 3G connectivity.

It further stated that the programme has four categories which are end-user computing NQF level 3, cell phone and device repair management NQF level 3, IT Technical Support NQF level 4 and networking support NQF level 5, which the unemployed students had to choose from.

“We are committed to doing what we can to equip the youth with ICT skills in order for them to be absorbed within the ICT sector when job opportunities do arise. Through the ICT skills training programme, we are now able to fulfil this commitment and also play an active role in the creation of job opportunities for young people at a time when our South African young people face extreme difficulties engaging with the labour market due to stagnant economy,” concluded Netshitenzhe.