MakwaIT, a 100% youth and black-owned ICT company, aims to help close the ICT skills gap by assisting in the development of skills through a specialised ICT skills incubation program.

The incubation is a 12-month contractual program for both unemployed but determined youth with no prior ICT skills as well as youth who have formal IT education but no working experience and are extremely eager to pursue a career in the ICT sector.

The MakwaIT Academy has been offering global-standard practical experience and theoretical training to South African self-starters since February 2020. So far, 12 leaners have benefitted from the program, not only improving their employability, but also creating a globally competitive breed of local ICT specialists that have first-hand insight to challenges faced by many South Africans.

In September 2021 MakwaIT Academy will commence its 2022 intake.

“We recognise the urgency to readdress South Africa’s high rate of youth unemployment and we are determined to play our part to make a dent in the statistics,” says Fikile Mthombeni, chief operations officer at MakwaIT. “MakwaIT Academy is our tool to gainfully empower young black talent as well as marginalised individuals such as people with disabilities with the opportunity to attain specialised ICT training and development opportunities which will result in access to a secure job market.”

The program equips learners and interns with skills that range from computer networking, programable infrastructure and cybersecurity. The goal is to enable learners and interns plug into a significant introduction to common IT topics designed to increase their professional knowledge.

The incubation program allows tertiary learners to learn about the sector in-depth while also providing them with an opportunity to have an internship at MakwaIT for a duration of 12 months where they could become on-boarded personnel within the company once the internship has been completed successfully.

“Our goal is to upskill young South Africans and expose them to technology life skills at a young age in order to grow South Africa as a nation,” Mthombeni says. “While future employability is a priority, our programs go beyond merely teaching young people how to connect tech devices.

“We provide opportunities for learners to not only develop their skills but also to gain early job experience and discover what career options are available to them through a variety of projects. Education, skills development, and life experiences are all important aspects of our country’s development and citizens’ upliftment.”

Lethabo Mokone, CEO and founder of MakwaIT, comments: “MakwaIT is especially proud of this program because in true African spirit everyone wins. For the company, young fresh minds join the already bustling team which constantly improves the quality of our product and services. The interns and learners get to enjoy the dignity and freedom that comes with being self-sufficient individuals with purpose. Last but not least, tech based solutions that will address challenges experienced by many South Africans will be probable more than ever.”