PwC, Unicef partner to offer digital skills to SA youth

Consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) SA yesterday on International Youth Day announced a partnership aimed at equipping local youth with digital skills.

International Youth Day is an awareness day designated by the United Nations to draw attention to a given set of cultural and legal issues surrounding youth. It was first observed on 12 August 2000.

According to the organisations, the partnership is part of a three-year global collaboration between PwC and the UN agency Unicef in support of Generation Unlimited.

Generation Unlimited is a multi-sector partnership aimed at helping 1.8 billion young people transition from school to work by 2030.

This collaboration will support young people who are currently outside of the workforce to develop the requisite 21st century skills to gain entry into the job market and become entrepreneurs in the age of the fourth industrial revolution, the organisations say.

“This is a critical time for the business community, educators, government and other stakeholders to contribute collectively to the development of our young people,” says Dion Shango, CEO of PwC Africa.

“Our collaboration with Unicef will expose young people to diverse digital skills and broaden their knowledge and expertise for the future workplace. We believe that together we can make an exponential difference by helping uplift and prepare the youth for tomorrow’s new workforce.

“Now is the time to invest in young people,” says Muriel Mafico, Unicef SA’s deputy representative. “This collaboration with PwC is vital to help provide digital and transferable skills that young people have identified as being critical for their future growth and prosperity.”

The organisations say the collaboration will provide a specific focus on girls and young women who often miss out on developing ICT skills.

They note that only 23% of tech jobs are held by women globally, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, and this inequality is mirrored in SA.

Under the partnership, PwC says it aims to improve young people and employers’ access to information and services about learning opportunities through a new data management platform.

The consultancy firm will also bolster the Techno Girls and Naspers Labs programmes, supported by Unicef, to expand opportunities for young girls to access science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics related skills and work opportunities.

This will be done by scaling up the programme and delivering the experience virtually.

PwC will also enhance existing entrepreneurship programmes and related training curricula in partnership with the University of Pretoria.

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