Multi-million rand skills development programme for 91 residents from Blikkiesdorp

Today the City of Cape Town, Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) and the False Bay Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College were delighted to launch a multi-million rand skills development programme for 91 residents from Blikkiesdorp who will receive construction industry training at False Bay TVET College in Westlake.


Google hopes to train 10 million people in Africa in online skills: CEO

Alphabet Inc’s Google aims to train 10 million people in Africa in online skills over the next five years in an effort to make them more employable, its chief executive said on Thursday.

The U.S. technology giant also hopes to train 100,000 software developers in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa, a company spokeswoman said.

Google’s pledge marked an expansion of an initiative it launched in April 2016 to train young Africans in digital skills. It announced in March it had reached its initial target of training one million people.

The company is “committing to prepare another 10 million people for jobs of the future in the next five years,” Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai told a company conference in Nigeria’s commercial capital of Lagos.

Google said it will offer a combination of in-person and online training. Google has said on its blog that it carries out the training in languages including Swahili, Hausa and Zulu and tries to ensure that at least 40 percent of people trained are women. It did not say how much the programme cost.

Africa, with its rapid population growth, falling data costs and heavy adoption of mobile phones, having largely leapfrogged personal computer use, is tempting for tech companies. Executives such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s chairman Jack Ma have also recently toured parts of the continent.

But countries like Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa, which Google said it would initially target for its mobile developer training, may not offer as much opportunity as the likes of China and India for tech firms.

Yawning wealth gaps mean that much of the population in places like Nigeria has little disposable income, while mobile adoption tends to favour more basic phone models. Combined with bad telecommunications infrastructure, that can mean slower and less internet surfing, which tech firms rely on to make money.

Google also announced plans to provide more than $3 million in equity-free funding, mentorship and working space access to more than 60 African start-ups over three years.

In addition, YouTube will roll out a new app, YouTube Go, aimed at improving video streaming over slow networks, said Johanna Wright, vice president of YouTube.

YouTube Go is being tested in Nigeria as of June, and the trial version of the app will be offered globally later this year, she said.





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Class of 2016 urged to opt for vocational training

The resurgence of violent #FeesMustFall protests in 2016, following the Minister of Higher Education’s announcement of an 8% university fee increase for 2017, has created concern amongst matriculants about their studies next year. Tony Keal, Group Skills Facilitator, at the Master Builders Association of the Western Cape (MBAWC), suggests that they further their education through vocational training.

He explains: “Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges have been spared the upheaval that other institutions of higher learning have experienced. Furthermore, they are 80% subsidised by the government, meaning that the fees are affordable. There is a worldwide demand for the kinds of skills taught at these colleges and in some countries, tradespeople like electricians and plumbers earn more than doctors and lawyers.”

The MBAWC has offered apprenticeship programmes for the past 12 years, giving those with Grade 9 and above the opportunity to build on their academic foundations and establish a vocational career. Not only does the organisation fund their training and place them with members in order to put their theoretical knowledge into practice, it also pays them a wage as determined by the Building Industry Collective agreement. Apprentices are generally placed with member companies to get the on-site practical training required to complete their apprenticeship contract.

In addition, the Association has embarked on the training of supervisory staff due to the decline of this category of employee over the past 20 years. Candidates are carefully selected and ideally should have a Grade 12 certificate.  They are then entered into a training program which exposes them to all facets of building work. The candidates are placed with MBAWC member companies to gain on-site practical experience and at the end of their training period, qualify for an NQF Level 4 South African Qualifications Authority approved certificate in site supervisory practices. The MBAWC pays all training costs and monitors their progress on a monthly basis. The success of this program can be seen in a number of people who have completed the program and are currently working for membercompanies.

The MBAWC has also established a Skills and Education Trust in order to upskill employees currently working in the building industry with nationally registered qualifications.  This Trust funds short courses and various other training programs.  

“Those who opt for vocational training are able to attain nationally recognised qualifications that will enable them to find employment nationally,” concludes Keal.  

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