The MTN Foundation has invested R14m for the 2024 edition of its Digital Skills for Digital Jobs programme. MTN will offer 100 selected, unemployed youth candidates from each of the nine provinces in South Africa the opportunity to participate in the 12-month accredited programme.

This year MTN has been barraged by an overwhelming influx of applications with a total of 5330 applications received, the company says.

Through the Digital Skills for Digital Jobs initiative, the 900 students of class ‘24 will be provided training that includes basic end-computing, coding, robotics, AI, and other essential skills to prepare them for a future in the competitive IT sector.

The training courses offered by the MTN Foundation in partnership with the EBL Institute and Datacomb Development Hub are designed to be inclusive. They are open to 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.

Structured to also offer opportunities for those with entrepreneurial instincts, the programme includes modules on various facets of establishing a business, life skills, career, and personal development.

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

This need is reflected by the foundation receiving 1737 applications nationwide in 2023 for the Digital Skills for Digital Jobs programme. 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.

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