Google launches a free digital training program to ameliorate unemployment situation in South Africa. Together with its partner Livity Africa, the tech giant plans to train about a million of young South Africans.
During a recent conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, Google announced that with the support of its partner Livity Africa they were fully committed to training, in the next 12 months, 1 million young Africans in digital skills. The US tech giant believes that by giving this type of free training they will be able to help reduce the levels of unemployment across the continent. In South Africa alone, approximately 35% of all 15-34 year olds are currently unemployed.
Digital skills training
This training will involve two separate training programs run by Livity Africa; “Digify Bytes” and “Digify Pro”. “Digify Bytes” has been designed to inspire Africa’s youth to pursue a career in the digital world by introducing them to digital skills, and “Digify Pro” is an intense 3-month immersion program for digital specialists.
There are currently 65 volunteers from Google working with the Livity team to ensure the content of the programs is developed correctly, in most cases members of the Livity team are then left to hold the actual training sessions however some courses have been held by members of the team from Google.
Both programs are already underway in Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya, and the rollout is currently being accelerated to ensure that they gain access to more and more people over the next 12 months.
This pledge from Google is not restricted to these two training programs, they have also designed and launched an on-line learning portal (digifyafrica.com) which will be accessible to anyone across Africa that wants to learn one of the many free digital skills courses available. Whilst currently there are only 9 different training courses available, Google intends to increase this number to 50 courses by July 2016.
The Google Country Director in South Africa, Luke Mckend, believes that by equipping young Africans with digital skills they will not only be able to create and manage their own professional online profiles but also potentially even start their own businesses, he said, “The internet is at the heart of economic growth and the Digital Skills Program is aimed at helping more Africans play a part in the digital economy. Everyone can succeed online, start a new business, grow their existing one, or share their passion.”
Livity Africa was launched in 2011 and is a South African non-profit youth job skills organization located in Cape town, South Africa. It is not only funded by Google but also by a number of other major businesses including Redbull and Nike. Its priority is to support young people into full time employment, providing both on-the-job and vocational training not only in digital skills but also in media, journalism, marketing and entrepreneurial skills.
Their slogan is “for the youth, by the youth.”