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Sixty unemployed youth from the Emfuleni Local Municipality area have been given the opportunity to capitalise on South Africa’s rapidly growing telecommunications sector with accredited mobile repairer training and business incubation services from The Innovation Hub.
As the Gauteng province’s official innovation and entrepreneurship agency, the ICT sector is one of The Innovation Hub’s key focal points for fostering socio-economic development and competitiveness.
Sponsored by partners including the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), Ceramic Industries, and ArcelorMittal, its annual Mobile Repairers Training Programme provides youth with the skills and support needed to take advantage of ICT and telecommunications to drive inclusive economic growth and job creation in vulnerable communities.
NYDA, as an organisation that seeks to provide young people with support for business start-up and sustainability, has seen it necessary to be part of this partnership and provided business management skills and business grants to this group. The business management skill equips the young people to ensure that they run their businesses effectively.
With the business grant, they will get a start-up kit and equipment which enable them to immediately start their businesses and service the entire community. One of the requirements for support is for them to further employ other young people therefore contributing towards the advancement of township economy.
The mobile repair industry poses a lot of opportunities as almost everybody has a cell phone and will need their services all the time. The partnership is critical for before and after business establishment support hence increasing business success.
The Innovation Hub offers opportunities
“With growing reliance on digital and mobile technologies, the local telecommunications market particularly has seen exceptional growth over the past decade, providing plenty of exciting entrepreneurial opportunities for unemployed youth and small business owners,” says Pieter Holl, chief executive of The Innovation Hub.
“The Innovation Hub’s annual mobile repairer training programme specifically aims to help youth profit from these opportunities, providing in-depth mobile devices repair and entrepreneurial training for them to successfully launch new business ventures for the benefit of their communities.”
Notably, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa recently reported that the sector already enjoys revenue six times higher than that of the broadcasting and postal sectors combined.
Likewise, StatsSA estimates that over 25.5 million or nearly half of all South Africans regularly use smartphones, further underscoring the mobile repair field’s potential for socio-economic development and wealth creation.
“Considering the sheer number of phone brands and types that carries different designs and repair specifications in South Africa, the training provided the young people with skills and confidence to work on each of them. Something that will be difficult for novices to do. The training also provided young people with basic business skills such as how to register legal entity, tax compliance, bookkeeping, procurements process and stock managements,” says Holl.
“The mobile devices repair training programme therefore provides youth with MICT-SETA accredited training and certificates of attendance to bridge this knowledge gap, including entrepreneurial skills.”
The programme’s 2022 cohort each received their certificates at a recent graduation ceremony held at the ArcelorMittal Science Centre in Sebokeng. Following their graduation, each of the 60 programme participants will also receive tailored business incubation services through the Sebokeng eKasiLabs to ensure the ongoing sustainability and impact of programme for driving employment and job creation.
“We are exceptionally proud of this year’s learners and would like to offer them our sincere congratulations on successfully completing the programme,” concludes Holl.
“We’re proud to play a meaningful role in ensuring that South Africa has the right skills needed to meet the challenges and needs of the growing ICT sector, and we wish the programme participants every success in their future ventures.”