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An exciting new partnership between mLab and a government-funded agency in South Africa is poised to introduce a number of ICT-related interventions that will equip people to respond to the demands and opportunities of a technology immersed future.
mLab, a mobile solutions laboratory and start-up accelerator, has partnered with the Media, Information and Communication Technologies Sector Education and Training Authority, better known as MICT Seta.
mLab is a tech-centred business working alongside partners to build a vibrant, robust innovation ecosystem. The not-for-profit organisation does this by identifying and nurturing tech-talent among youth, supporting budding tech-entrepreneurs and their fledgling businesses, and creating tech that brings about change and improves the lives of ordinary South Africans.
mLab’s headquarters are located in Pretoria, Gauteng, with provincial offices in the Northern Cape and Limpopo. To ensure that its skills academy is as accessible to as many people as possible, it has academies in Tembisa, Tshwane, Soweto, Polokwane and Kimberley. It also runs programmes in other Southern African markets and, according to a media release, it is able to provide access to international opportunities for programme participants.
The partnership comes against the backdrop that more than half of the nearly two billion youth worldwide will not have the skills or qualifications necessary to participate in a future characterised by the convergence and complementarity of emerging technology domains.
This is broadly referred to as the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), or Industry 4.0. This dire shortage of skills translates to more than 50 % of tomorrow’s human capital being potentially unprepared to enter the workforce. This is bound to worsen existing chasms between those who are prepared for 4IR and those who are not.
High-level intervention by mLab, MICT Seta
The partnership between mLab and MICT Seta is set to address this pressing challenge in South Africa through a number of interventions including accredited skills training, ecosystem building, workforce development programs and public policy.
“The agreement between the two parties brings South Africa closer to the National Development plan; Vision 2030,” says mLab chief executive Nicky Koorbanally.
“It is set to boost the economy, reduce unemployment, increase investment and combat inequalities by upskilling and reskilling South Africans to keep up with the rapidly changing labour market.”
Meanwhile, the MICT Seta chief executive Matome Madibana emphasised that this strategic partnership is further established to create an empowering and enabling climate for youth across the country to thrive and optimally contribute to the mainstream digital global economy through mind-blowing applications and solutions that can change the living conditions to the better.
The partnership is extended until 31 March 2024.