IBM and Junior Achievement (JA) South Africa have announced the Open P-TECH for Africa program which will provide South Africa’s youth with skills relevant to the digital era and marketplace.
As the Covid-19 pandemic leads to an unprecedented shift to online learning and the use of digital technologies, the Open P-TECH for Africa program will provide digital education focused on workplace learning and digital skills to youth aged 16 to 35.
“This is a great opportunity to better prepare our youth for new collar careers. Through the Open P-Tech for Africa program we know we can equip all young people with foundational technology skills of the future so they can be successful in this digital era,” says Ziaad Suleman, chief operating officer of IBM Southern Africa.
The Open P-TECH for Africa program will provide 50 000 South African youth – many of whom would otherwise not have access to innovative digital learning – with access to digital training. The program can be a valuable resource for teachers looking to supplement regular classwork and courses cover in-demand technologies like AI, Blockchain, Cloud Computing, Data Science and Cybersecurity.
Open P-TECH is a free digital learning platform for students, parents, and educators that supports learners in developing both soft skills and hard skills to prepare them for jobs of the future. Open P-TECH provides modules for students and teachers that include courses on emerging technologies and courses on professional competencies, both leading to free digital badges that students can share on their online resumes.
Using the platform, students preparing for internships and new collar jobs earn the same badges as professionals in the field. Currently, it has more than 224,000 registered members in 137 countries and is available in nine languages.
JA South Africa will leverage their footprint and mobilise trainers, volunteers, teachers, and students to implement the program across South African. The facilitator-led training will be provided both in person, when possible, and through an online platform.
After completing a minimum of the 20 hours of JA South African -facilitated training optimised for the learning objectives, the learners will get certificates in addition to internationally recognised badges from the Open P-TECH platform.
Through the Open P-TECH for Africa, students can now prepare for careers, internships, apprenticeships and new-collar jobs and earn the same badges as professionals in their fields of interest. While it is focused on youth aged 16-35, the program will impact young people in the workplace, entrepreneurs, educators, developers as well as learners who are looking to be better prepared for new collar careers.