T-Systems celebrates Youth Month by driving (digital) skills development and employment opportunities for young people.

120 youth join the T-Systems learnership initiative; the company says the programme is a way of giving back to the community by equipping graduates with relevant skills.

As the country turns its attention to young people during this Youth Month, it is worth noting two separate reports released by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The 2015 report titled: “Youth, skills and employability” declared that young people around the world are struggling to enter the labour market and that coordination between public policies and the private sector is also crucial to improve the employability of youth. The more recent 2019 report titled: “Thriving in a Digital World”, confirms that digitisation is transforming the way many jobs are carried out and that high-level ICT skills will be important in some growing occupations.

In its quest to address the issue of skills for the digital era and youth employability, T-Systems South Africa (TSSA) has been passionately using its Nation Building Initiative to drive (digital) skills development and employment opportunities for young people. The latest intake into its long-running youth programmes includes 120 Grade 12 graduates walking through the doors of its ICT Academy to start a learnership in the four streams offered by the Academy:  Technical Support, Systems Support, Systems Development and Telecommunications.

T-Systems’ ICT Academy was established in 2003 to address the ICT skills shortage in the country. Aligned with youth month, the 120 learners have been onboarded into the Academy’s learnership programmes which runs in conjunction with Media Information and Communication Technology (MICT) Seta.

Since inception, more than 2000 graduates have qualified from the ICT Academy with an internationally recognised qualification, and more than 85% have secured employment by being allowed to apply for positions at TSSA once they have successfully completed the internship programme.

“Other graduates are recruited from the ICT Academy and specifically placed with the customer interaction centre and various technical teams at TSSA as well as our customer sites.” – Marcus Karuppan, TSSA ICT Academy Manager.

The T-Systems ICT Academy is broadening its reach during this youth month by offering a free digital awareness programme to high school learners. Karuppan adds that the digital awareness programme aims to ensure that the youth of our country are introduced to the necessary digital skills which will better equip them for the world of work and the various Industry 4.0 innovations that are being introduced into our socio-economic environment.

“We are committed to giving back to the communities in which we operate. It’s not just about profits. Our goal is to create a sustainable environment and to contribute to their lives. The internship and learnership initiatives as well the Hazyview Digital Learning Centre forms part of our National Building Initiative, which dovetails with the National Development Plan vision for 2030. We place a lot of importance on giving back in a sustainable manner and education is one of the cornerstones that impacts not only a person’s life but also that of the economy too.” –
Dineo Molefe, MD at T-Systems South Africa,