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training-article18 September 2013 – Vodacom and its partners are running a skills course for the youth instructors who are based at its nine ICT Resource Centres around the country.

The course, which takes place at Vodacom World in Midrand this week, seeks to equip and prepare the instructors with the skills to train and develop local youth in information and communications technology (ICT) skills to support the Vodacom ICT Resource Centres, as well as the schools and communities around them.

"Besides our core business, we are also committed to doing what we can to stimulate skills development and job creation within the ICT sector," says Maya Makanjee, the chief officer for corporate affairs at the South African telecommunications company.

Vodacom is partnering with BlackBerry, Cisco, the Independent Development Trust and the National Youth Development Agency on the skills course. As part of it, participants will receive training in A+, N+ and 3G connectivity for a period of six months and will be taught business skills. Once trained, they will support the network of schools connected via the Vodacom Mobile Education programme, develop mobile applications, and resell Vodacom products.

Vodacom and its partners will pay for accommodation as well as a stipend for the youth undertaking the training. "Through the ICT skills training, we are now able to fulfil [our commitment to skills development and job creation] and also play an active role in the creation of job opportunities for young people."

In an effort to stimulate skills development and job creation within the local ICT sector, Vodacom and its partners began a drive earlier this year to provide unemployed youth with training. It seeks to equip youth with relevant skills to help with the installation of IT equipment, as well as provide instruction in high-end computer skills to the youth and other community members who visit the ICT Resource Centres.

Vodacom has nine such centres across South Africa, one for each of the schooling districts the Department of Basic Education has selected for its teacher training initiative. According to the company, to date 18 ICT instructors from all nine provinces have been trained. These 18 instructors will now each train 15 unemployed youth, bringing it to a total of 135 youth who will receive ICT training through the initiative.

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