On Tuesday, 26 July 2016, the City of Johannesburg together with Microsoft South Africa, announced a strategic partnership that will see 1 million youth receive vital Microsoft Skills training, over the next 5 years. The total value of the donation to be made by Microsoft will be over R200 million over the period of 5 years.

The announcement was made by the City of Johannesburg Executive Mayor, Parks Tau, Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa and Microsoft South Africa Managing Director, Zoaib Hoosen. The initiative is termed JoziMS1million.

Studies have found that more than 50% of today’s entry level jobs require proficiency with digital technology and Microsoft is committed to empowering the youth. The training will be implemented in identified city Libraries in Johannesburg and MOOV sites owned by the City of Johannesburg.

The City’s Mayor Parks Tau said 800 000 of the one million to benefit from the programme will be youth between 18 and 34 years of age, and the rest will be those above 35 but still need to access the job market at entry level.
The curriculum will cover five key topics including Computer Skills; The Internet, Cloud Services and the World Wide Web; Productivity Programmes (Microsoft Office); Computer Security and Privacy, and Digital Lifestyles.
Mayor Tau said the partnership was motivated by the realisation that youth would need digital skills to break barriers to entry into the job market.
He said this is a result of continuous engagements that the city has been conducting with various private sector companies.
The Mayor said reports show that by 2012, 50% of the already existing jobs required basic digital skills, and this trend is expected to increase to 77% by 2022.
He said the programme will be using the Vulindlele Jozi portal to register the 800 000 youth. For those above 35, the Mayor said she will go to the centres provided by the city for registrations.

“We are breaking down barriers for the people of Johannesburg to get these jobs that will be available in the market that require skills.
“The investments on the overall project come from the City of Johannesburg and Microsoft, the participants are not required to pay a fee. This is very important for those people who cannot afford to pay fees to acquire skills,” said Mayor Tau.

Microsoft has invested about R200 million in the programme, and the company’s Managing Director Zoaib Hoosen told SAnews that the initiative is a product of an engagement that the city had with Microsoft in the last three months, to see what is it that they can merge for the benefit of residents and to grow the economy.

He said without the partnership, both the City and Microsoft would not be able implement this programme and achieve the outcomes.

As the world continues to evolve more digitally, Hoosen says many companies are moving towards the digital environment and it will soon become a basic requirement for job seekers to have basic digital skills when applying for jobs. This is the case for entrepreneurs as well.
Learners can apply here: http://spr.ly/6185BLG41