Partnership to upskill women in ICT

The start of the End User Computing learnership programme which will equip 34 young women in Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality was celebrated by the Progressive Women’s Movement of South Africa (PWMSA) and Bytes People Solutions (BPS)

This follows the signing of an MoU between the three primary partners PWMSA, Bytes People Solutions and the Media, Advertising, Information and Communication Technologies Sector Training Authority (MICT Seta) to train 180 young women in ICT in six municipalities. The municipalities are Tshwane, Ekurhuleni, Metsweding, Sedibeng, Wesrand and Johannesburg Central.

Dr Gwen Ramokgopa, deputy minister of health, and Dr Madelise Grobler, MD of Bytes People Solutions, attended the ceremony held at the Civic Centre in Germiston.
Funding for the programme was provided by the Media, Advertising, Information and Communication Technologies Sector Training Authority (MICT Seta). The group of women from the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality are the second to start the programme following the commencement of the training in the Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality in July 2011.

The learners are offered employment utilising the workplace networks of the three partners. Learners are employed for one year, during which they will receive workplace training and coaching.

Bytes People Solutions, a company in the Bytes Technology Group, wholly owned by JSE-listed Altron, has a long-standing track record in ICT training, with more than 800 people a year passing through its doors, 59% of them female.

Dr Ramokgopa, who is also a working committee member of the PWMSA and convener of the Gauteng Chapter, said that the programme had attracted young women who strongly believed that it would enhance their employment prospects. "The most important partners in this programme are the participants themselves," she said. "There is a high ICT illiteracy rate among women in the country, and this group of graduates is helping to address that. It’s vital that we continue to educate females in this industry as they play a key role in economic development.”

Dr Grobler added that Bytes People Solutions is cognisant of the role women play in the world. "We believe that women should have the right and opportunity to excel. Our aim is to provide them with the skills to do so. In today’s world, ICT can help people fulfil their potential. It can give anyone, anywhere, a platform to grow, and we are proud to be part of this development."

She said that the group of Ekurhuleni learners were selected from more than 100 applications. “We believe that these learners have a very real chance of succeeding in the workplace. They have demonstrated a zest for life that will serve them well.” Learners took to the podium to thank the PWMSA, Bytes People Solutions, Media, Advertising, Information and Communication Technologies Sector Training Authority and their peers for their support and encouragement.
Dr Ramokgopa inspired attendees to nurture their new-found talents and to use their wings to fly.

"ICT is critical for global competitiveness. This training for women enables them to stand tall and participate in the world.”

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