Microsoft has embarked on an initiative to impart the youth with skills for the modern workplace. More than 2,300 youth are set to receive Microsoft training and certification by the end of September 2020.
Microsoft said that the certification would equip the youth with the skills required to prepare them adequately for the workplace after college.
According to the company, the World Economic Forum report shows that there is a skills gap in Africa with 41 per cent of the companies in Tanzania, 30 per cent in Kenya, nine per cent in South Africa and six per cent in Nigeria citing inadequate skills as a limitation for business growth.
A recent report from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) also showed that by 2030, 230 million jobs in Sub-Saharan Africa will require digital skills hence the need for training on the same.
“What’s even more important in Africa, given the youth bulge and widening skills gap, is ensuring work-place readiness for our young graduates who are finding that their degree doesn’t quite fit the requirements of Forth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and the digital economy.” Said Martin Ndlovu, head of skills development at Microsoft4Afrika.
Microsoft, through the 4Afrika initiative, launched a pilot programme in Kenya to train and certify graduates and interns who had joined the workforce latest in December 2019.
The trainees were selected from institutions such as the Ministry of ICT, the top three coding schools in Kenya, Moringa, Modcom and CodeLn, from Andela and Cloud factory.
The programme is normally an in-person event, but the Covid-19 pandemic had necessitated the adaption to a Virtual Instructor-led Training (VILT) approach.
Since the launch of the programme, 800 Kenyan students have been trained. The training comprises soft skills readiness content and access to free certification vouchers for Microsoft Technology exams. So far, the programme has achieved around 40 per cent certification rate of the students.
At least 200 trainers are also set to join the training and certification camps to redeliver the certification programme to 1,500 more students by this month.
The programme also includes training on soft skills such as 4IR-type skillsets including negotiating skills, complex problem solving, people management, project management as well as productivity and mental wellness tools.
4Afrika partnered with LGIT Smart Solutions to manage the training programme, student engagements and training delivery to the students.
LGIT has managed access to a cloud platform and issued exam vouchers. They have also provided exam readiness tools and given the students access to their proprietary learning management content and readiness system.