Absa partners with WeThinkCode_ with a vision of aligning higher education with employability

By: WeThinkCode_
 
JOHANNESBURG - Dec. 11, 2020 - PRLog -- Absa has partnered with local training NGO WeThinkCode_(WTC_) (http://www.wethinkcode.co.za/) to probe the transformation of South Africa's digital skills landscape by focusing on practical ways of reforming youth employability.

Together, they are rewriting the future of technology students by focusing on candidate selection and matching, a demand-led curriculum, retention and ultimately the employment of graduates. This collaboration looks beyond potential candidates being strong in maths and science, for example, to see if they show other aptitudes for coding and programme design.

The banking group now sponsors 60 out of the 300 annual WeThinkCode_ students.

"As a top investor in higher education in South Africa, Absa has applied a more rigorous approach to how we fund projects, now tracking the success of students we support, from initial application to curriculum through to finding employment," says Makano Morojele, Head of Education Reform and Employability at Absa.

"Over the past four years Absa has invested millions on education and skills development,  supporting thousands of students in South Africa across 22 Universities, in various fields of study," Marojele says.

Commenting on WeThinkCode_'s partnership with Absa, Nyari Samushonga, CEO of WeThinkCode_ says: "As we've grown together, so has the candidate selection model. This now looks at potential students who don't necessarily have maths and science skills, but perhaps have high literacy in pattern recognition, problem solving or analytical skills – all of which can be applied to programming."

The success of having a focused selection process and practical syllabus yields real results, with a 98% employment rate among WeThinkCode_'s programming graduates, at average annual starting salaries of R240 000.

Absa is intent on making education more relevant and they are expanding this partnership model with the aim of taking it into many different business sectors and involving input from them to ensure that the training being funded is relevant to the needs of the market.

"We have a huge unemployment crisis and both the public and private sector institutions need to be able to scale education at pace.  To this end, we want our model to influence the wider South African post school education and training policy, bringing about a shift in learning focus and channels. We feel the work we've been doing can influence our public institution policies to help them gear-up to what the market actually needs," she adds.

This demand-driven approach implemented by Absa and WeThinkCode_ combines the importance of holistic education and labour market relationship-building, which is more critical than ever, as Covid-19 has accelerated the need to address both the shortage of digital skills and unemployment in South Africa.

"It's time to shift into new ways of thinking, embrace the coalition of the willing and accelerate demand-led skills development" Morojele concludes.

Contact
Kerry Botha
***@pleiades.co.za
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Tags:WeThinkCode
Industry:Technology
Location:Johannesburg - Gauteng - South Africa
Subject:Sponsorships
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