SA Good News | 17 February 2023
The Anglo American ICT learnership programme in South Africa has produced 35 graduates with a set of new digital skills contributing to the country’s overall ICT development focus. All 35 young graduates have achieved an NQF 4 qualification and are part of the first cohort of the programme.
The ICT learnership programme included subjects such as e-commerce, graphic designing, UI/UX and cloud computing to help school leavers continue to build ICT skills post-matric. The learnership aims to give candidates certified skills and experience through on-the-job training in order to secure jobs in the ICT sector and close the country’s massive digital skills gap.
The 12-month SETA-accredited learnership is managed by local development specialists, Summit. Each student receives a monthly stipend, a device, and data, and is allocated an employee mentor by Anglo American. At least 40% of their time is spent doing practical training.
Of this first group of graduates, 11 have been employed full-time by the non-profit organisation Edunova, 10 will be pursuing an NQF5 coding learnership, and 14 will be enrolling in various tertiary education undergraduate programmes.
Zaheera Soomar, global lead for education and community skills at Anglo American, said: “It is through such partnerships that opportunities and pathways are created for our communities, particularly in accessing quality education, technology, and digital skills. As the programme upscales to more young people, I look forward to seeing the impact it has for them, their families, and communities”.
Tshegofatso Mosiapoa, one of the graduates, said: “On the first day of the learnership, the instructor asked us to switch on the laptops and open Microsoft Word. I had no clue what he was talking about, as it was my first time working on a laptop. A year later, I am an ICT graduate with my own small business, helping people in my community run, install, and update software and teaching them how to use Microsoft. The learnership has given me skills to earn an income for myself. I am excited to further my skills by studying an NQF 5 Systems Development course as well”.
Based on its success, the programme will increase its intake to 120 learners this year coming from communities close to Anglo American’s operations in Limpopo, North West and Northern Cape. The learnership will also be launched in Botswana in communities around De Beers’ Debswana operations, and a similar learnership will be established in our Australia host community.
The 2021 ICT Skills Survey, carried out by Wits University’s Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE) in partnership with the Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa (IITPSA), highlighted the fact that significant digital skills gaps remain in South Africa, with not enough new skills coming through the pipeline.
The learnership programme was established following the success of a Google Sprint between July and December 2021. The Sprint saw more than 150 Grade 12 students from schools around Anglo American’s mining operations complete courses in IT Support, UX/UI Design, Project Management, and Data Analytics. Three of the Google Sprint graduates were part of the learnership’s first intake.
As the learnership progresses, the programme aims to deploy learners as ICT champions in schools that are part of Anglo American’s Education Programme. Their duties will include setting up devices at schools; securing and maintaining devices and ICT infrastructure; supporting the adoption of ICT into teaching methods; and giving students ICT skills.
About the Anglo American Education programme
The Anglo American South Africa Education Programme aims to improve learners’ educational outcomes, and quality passes through addressing some of the underlying reasons for poor education outcomes by supporting school management teams, governing bodies, principals, and teaching staff. The programme forms part of Anglo American’s Sustainable Mining Plan, and one of its pillars is to create thriving communities close to its operations, with education as a key building block.
The programme has set ambitious learner-focussed targets, including:
· 90% of learners aged five meeting the minimum requirements for school readiness
· 90% of grade 3 learners passing with at least 50% in Numeracy and Literacy
· 75% of grade 6 learners passing with at least 50% in Mathematics and English First Additional Language
· 90% matriculation pass rate, with a 50% university entrance
· 65% of grade 12 learners passing with at least 50% in Mathematics
In July 2022, Anglo American announced that it would be extending its education programme in South Africa. By 2027, Anglo American will have invested R1 billion in improving educational outcomes in South Africa, with the ultimate target for schools in host communities to perform within the top 20% of state schools nationally by 2030 – per the ambitions of our Sustainable Mining Plan.
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