THE City of Johannesburg Executive Mayor, Councillor Parks Tau, recently announced that the South African metropolitan municipality has secured a partnership with Microsoft SA to train a million disadvantaged residents on digital literacy skills that include Microsoft Office. The announcement made Johannesburg the first African city to close a workforce development deal of this magnitude for its residents.
Making the announcement, Mayor Tau was flanked by the Honourable Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, Gauteng Local Government and Housing MEC, Paul Mashatile and the Managing Director of Microsoft SA, Zoaib Hoosen. Mayor Tau said: “The training, to be offered at no cost to participants, will be conducted over a five-year period in Johannesburg public libraries, which are already attached to the Vulindlel’eJozi Youth Programme’s Massive Open Online Varsity network.”
He said: “About 800 000 of the targeted one-million residents to be trained will be the youth, aged between 18 and 34, while the remaining 200 000 intake will be of those over 35. Mayor Tau also pointed out that the digital literary skills training to be offered is relevant to the job market demand. “The course is set to break down a significant barrier to opportunities for disadvantaged residents, particularly as it builds digital literacy and connects with the rest of Vulindlel’eJozi objectives,” he said.
He further said: “In South Africa, every office needs people who have these skills, and every working age resident can get a head-start with digital literacy.” The new partnership will see the participating young people also linked-up with other developmental initiatives under Vulindlel’eJozi, which include entry-level job matching, matric rewriting and vocational skills training, as well as entrepreneurial skills development.