DigiLink incubator launches to upskill unemployed SA youth

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The DigiLink incubator programme has launched in South Africa with the goal of upskilling unemployed youth, enabling them to enter the tech economy and secure long-term employment.

Launched by the Harambe Youth Employment Accelerator, SiMODiSA and Clickatell, the programme provides participants with access to 12 months of on-the-job training in a simulated work environment that provides mentoring and training to fulfil available entry-level jobs.

Over two-thirds of young South Africans not employed or trained within 12 months of exiting the schooling system, and 75 per cent of them have no work experience, yet jobs are available in the ICT sector and DigiLink is looking to bridge the gap by providing necessary skills and experience.

“Intra-sector partnerships have proven successful for both job and economic growth in other sectors. I’m encouraged that the digital sector is beginning to coordinate itself in the same way,” said Evan Jones, group strategy director of Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator.

“DigiLink candidates are currently fulfilling some of Clickatell’s QA activities which we used to do in the US and Canada, proving that not only can young South Africans do the work if mentored and supervised appropriately, but also that we can re-shore this kind of work and associated revenue,” said Pieter de Villiers, chairman of SiMODiSA and co-founder of Clickatell.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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