Photograph — un.org

Accenture and CodeX are co-developing a skills development programme to provide South African youth with the skills required to compete in the Fourth Industrial Revolution economy. Participants have been selected following a two-week activation in underprivileged communities and an online Bootcamp that determined aptitude and identified those with a learning mindset. It is designed to address the country’s key economic growth challenges, including unemployment.

“As one of the country’s digital accelerators, we are witnessing a resurgence in demand for custom, bespoke software development skills within larger enterprises,” a statement by Vukani Mngxati, CEO for Accenture South Africa reads. 

He added that this demand places an additional strain on the country’s already limited pool of qualified and experienced Java engineers, whom Accenture also needs for its own projects with clients. Further stating that it was vital Accenture “develop adaptable and transferable skills that prepare youth for the dynamic workplace of the future and remain applicable as jobs and industries evolve.”

Accenture will be offering access to its facilities around the country to scale the project to other major centres, including Johannesburg, Pretoria, the Free State and the North West. Enrolled students will also be signed up and given access to the platform remotely. This would enable them to complete the first module from anywhere in the country before progressing to the practical phase where they would need to physically attend classes. 

In 2018, the estimated youth unemployment rate in South Africa was at 52.85 percent. It has significantly increased to 58.2 percent in the third quarter of 2019 from 56.4 percent in the previous period. More than half of youth aged 18 to 24 claimed that they did not have the financial means to pay for their tuition. Eighteen percent of those aged 18 to 24 who were not attending educational institutions indicated that their poor academic performance prevented them from participating.

This new partnership would be addressing the problem of human capital development in the country as it would be positioning South African youth, especially those in the rural areas, to meet the growing demand in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It would also equip more people with personal and interpersonal skills in the workplace.

“I am delighted that a startup and a large global brand will seek to solve our country’s number one challenge.” He added that he hopes both parties could “scale fast to effectively tackle unemployment in South Africa,” said Michael Jordaan, CodeX’s co-founder said while expressing his excitement over the partnership.

CodeX is well known for designing and implementing rapid software training curricula that focus on digital transformation in the country. Its model and methodology are ideal for Accenture’s objectives. The modular’s robust training platform is elastic and can easily accommodate new content.   

 By Ishioma Eni.

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