EXPLORE Data Science Academy Secures Three Year Contract With BCX



BCX, an IT Group, will sponsor 300 more data science learners through Explore Data Science Academy over the next three years.



BCX, an IT Group, will sponsor 300 more data science learners through Explore Data Science Academy over the next three years.

Telkom’s Information and communications technology company BCX in a multi-million rand agreement has committed to sponsor 300 learners to attend the 12-month data science learnerships with Africa’s largest data science academy EXPLORE Data Science Academy over the next three years.  BCX was a founding sponsor of the academy committing over R50-million in 2017 for an initial period of three years.  To date, over 400 learners have benefitted from its sponsorship.

According to EXPLORE Group founder and CEO Shaun Dippnall, BCX’s continued sponsorship is indicative of the quality and relevance of the data science training EXPLORE provides, as well as its proven model offered to young learners from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“Data science skills are highly sought after globally and South Africa is no different.  Over 90 percent of graduates of the EXPLORE Data Science programme find employment within three months of graduation.  These jobs typically start at around R240 000 a year,” he said.

Dippnall gives credit to BCX’s original vision five years ago to invest in his start-up academy.

“Our intention was to provide relevant skills training at scale that would both address the demands of the 4IR-driven economy as well as Africa’s massive youth unemployment,” he says.

Global business

“As a result of BCX’s initial commitment, today we have a global business, employing 150 data scientists that provide data science consulting to multinational businesses in the UK and Europe. 

In addition, our local corporate sponsor base has grown to over 20 and we have trained over 2000 young learners on our data science learnership programme.

EXPLORE employs many of these learners, who are given the opportunity to work on global projects,” Dippnall adds.

 Apart from its learnerships,  EXPLORE also offers public courses in data engineering, data analytics, data- and business intelligence and deep learning, including the use of the latest tools involving cloud skills and AI.  

These are delivered as a hybrid teaching model via EXPLORE’s  South African and African campuses and online.

Commenting on BCX’s sponsorship journey with EXPLORE Chief Marketing Officer at BCX Mandisa Ntloko-Petersen says: “We have long recognised the huge need for data science skills within corporates in South Africa, which are ultimately key to our long-term growth plans.  Through our sponsorship of these learnerships, we secure a pipeline of these really scarce skills for our business and those of our clients and suppliers.”

“Our social development programmes focus on a number of areas, which are already showing results, and will, over time, be catalysts for change in South Africa.  One of these is making future skills accessible to youth, by partnering with several carefully selected organisations and colleges, such as EXPLORE Group,” Ntloko-Petersen adds.

Focus on aptitude

There are no restrictions to entry for EXPLORE’s one-year fully sponsored course, nor are formal qualifications required.  Applicants just need to be between 17 to 35 of age and pass a challenging aptitude test on the academy’s website.

The focus on aptitude means many young disadvantaged South Africans can qualify.  This too is a plus for BCX. By comparison, equivalent university programmes come at a significant cost to a student, which prevents many people from applying.  They also tend to be quite theoretical in nature.

Learners on the EXPLORE fully sponsored data science learnership programme solve real-world problems using the latest data science tools and technologies.  Teamwork is a major aspect of the course simulating what is required when working with data in a business.

Registrations for the July intake of EXPLORE Data Science Learnerships open in May 2022. Those interested can apply on www.explore-datascience.net/register.  For more information on EXPLORE Group go to www.explore-datascience.net.




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