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Awards and giftsThe talented students received certificates, awards and gifts21 October 2015 - On Wednesday 14 October, 72 youth from Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga received their Vodacom ICT Youth Academy certificates at a festive graduation ceremony that took place at Vodaworld in Midrand. Over the next few weeks similar ceremonies will be hosted in the other six provinces.

The ICT Youth Academy began when in 2014 Vodacom, together with its partners, the Independent Development Trust (IDT), Cisco and MICT-SETA, signed a 3 year agreement aimed at addressing skills shortages and job creation within the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector.

This partnership has tremendous impact on the lives of the unemployed youth that have received ICT training to date. The participants are recruited from all over the country and undergo a 12 month intensive training programme. At the end of their training programme the learners receive an accredited certificate in A+, N+, 3G connectivity as well as a certificate in in entrepreneurship.


Claim your rightful space

Deputy Minister Stella NgabeniDeputy Minister Stella Ngabeni delivered a passionate key note addressSpeaking at the event in Vodaworld, Deputy Minister of the Department of Communications, Stella Ndabeni–Abrahams said: "The relevance of this occasion in relation to the challenges facing the country cannot be underestimated. Study after study point out that one of the biggest threats facing the country is the unemployment of the youth. This being caused by a number of factors: jobless growth of the economy, under-qualification of the youth, mismatch between skills and demands of the economy, and many other reasons.

The Minister said that Government and its agencies support a number of programmes that seek to address this challenge. Ndabeni said: "I wish to acknowledge the successful partnership between Vodacom, MICT Seta, CISCO and the IDT. It is a known fact that the challenges facing the country are monumental and therefore there is no single entity that can do it alone including government. The concept of PPPs is highly appreciated by government. It assists entities to expand the impact of their resources and reach out to more beneficiaries."

She added that economic freedom needs a skilled nation and in a passionate plea she urged the young graduates to claim their rightful space and become the role models of the future.


Partners for ICT skills development and job creation

Youth ICT Academy partners The Youth ICT Academy partners Vodacom Foundation: Executive Head, Mthobeli Tengimfene reiterated the objectives of the programme: “This is Vodacom’s contribution towards the creation of skills development and job creation opportunities for unemployed youth. It is premised on the concept that the more skilled the youth are the greater their opportunity for employment. Besides our core business, we are also committed to contributing to efforts to stimulate skills development and job creation within the ICT sector. Through the ICT skills training, we are now able to fulfil this commitment and also play an active role in the creation of job opportunities for young people.”

The Chief Executive Officer of the IDT, Coceko Pakade proudly restated the spirit of the partnership. He stressed: “Young people are the bedrock of our country and any programmes that empower youth, invariably contribute to a better tomorrow. The IDT is proud to be part of a partnership that resonates with its strategic focus on youth development and empowerment. The graduates in this programme contribute towards alleviation of skills shortages in the ICT sector and the knowledge economy in South Africa. Furthermore, the young people will become torchbearers and role-models in their communities. We are encouraged by the good results that these students have achieved and we hope that doors are going to be opened for them.”


Opening doors to the future

The new qualifications and competencies allow the youth to be active players in the knowledge economy and contribute to the development of software, business systems and mobile applications.

Another opportunity is for the graduates to support the network of schools connected via the Vodacom Mobile Education programme by insuring that computers and systems are maintained.

The ceremony at Vodaworld vibrated with the excited energy of the graduating youth who not only received their certificates but also various gifts from the partners, including a laptop to ensure that they can keep working on their newly acquired skills. Achievement awards were presented for most outstanding students and for academic excellence and diligence.

Over the next few weeks graduation ceremonies will take place for the youth who have completed their training in the other 6 provinces:


Updates and photos will be posted below and on the Digital Classroom Facebook and Twitter pages under #YouthICTSkills. All photos are by BakonePix


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