Cisco has released seven free, self-enrol online courses to help South Africans to develop their digital skills, and has pledged to train an additional 100 000 students by 2020.
Underpinned by the Cisco Networking Academy, which celebrates its 20th year in South Africa in October, Cisco announced that it will work with education, industry and local communities to skill or retrain individuals to develop the next generation of talent to thrive in the digital economy.
“The future global competitiveness of South Africa will be determined by our commitment as a nation, and as employers to ensure that we have the skills required for a thriving digital economy,” says Cathy Smith, MD Cisco Sub-Saharan Africa. “The education system alone cannot be expected to keep up with the increasing skills gap. As technology leaders and future employers, we are partnering with Government and the education ecosystem to ensure that South Africans are given more opportunities to be part of the workforce of the future.”
“Not so long ago, I identified ICT as a way to lay a solid foundation for rapid and inclusive economic growth in our country,” says Minister Jeff Radebe. “Together with Cisco, we are going to provide skills development opportunities through training, internships and mentorship for young graduates and budding entrepreneurs.”
To deliver on its pledge, Cisco has launched free online training courses (available in English) and accessible to anyone, anywhere on the following topics:
* Get Connected (Digital Literacy)
* Entrepreneurship
* Cybersecurity
* Cybersecurity Essentials
* Introduction to IoT
* NDG Linux Unhatched
* NDG Linux Essentials
Cisco’s skills programmes are built around three principles:
* Providing access to the right skills, when they are needed – Teaching computer literacy at an early age is vital to preparing young people for future employment, but it doesn’t end there. Cisco believes in providing access to digital skills training when it is needed, from working with education departments to help teach the basics of cybersecurity at school to providing platforms for professionals to develop their coding capabilities.
* Providing an opportunity for everyone – With 90% of jobs anticipated to be digital by 2020[1], it is not enough to only train for the technology industry. With over 72 Networking Academies in South Africa, Cisco works with partner organisations to create digital opportunities in the formal education sector through schools, colleges, TVETs, and universities, but also in non-traditional environments like prisons, homeless shelters, schools for the blind, and through training partnerships with innovation hubs.
* Using our networks to help as many people as we can – No one organisation can do it alone. Cisco has a channel-based business model and believes in the power of partnerships. The task at hand requires industry and academia to work together. It also requires a different approach to reaching the widest range of people, with the biggest impact.