Accenture is partnering with GirlCode to create more opportunities for women in tech. The partnership includes training 50 unemployed female graduates with a goal to get them into formal employment.
Accenture will provide funding for the programme while GirlCode will deliver intensive three-month training that prepares the trainees to work as junior front end, back end or full stack developers. The programme – designed to address the country’s key economic growth imperatives, including unemployment – will allow participants of the age between 18 and 35 to join one of two learning streams. The first being an AWS Cloud Practitioner where the students will learn AWS Cloud concepts, AWS services, security, architecture and support to build their AWS Cloud knowledge – with the intention to prepare them for the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner exam at the end of the programme. The second stream is focused on Java fundamentals where the students will build a foundational understanding of Java and be able to take the Java SE 8 Programmer I exam to gain an industry recognised certificate.
‘We are witnessing a resurgence in demand for custom, bespoke software development skills due to a number of factors including the COVID-19 impact on businesses,’ said Khethiwe Nkuna, Executive Head for Corporate Citizenship and Inclusion and Diversity for Accenture in Africa.
‘This demand places an additional strain on the country’s already limited pool of qualified and experienced Java engineers, whom Accenture also needs for its own projects with clients. It’s vital that we develop adaptable and transferable skills that prepare unemployed graduates for the dynamic workplace of the future and remain applicable as jobs and industries evolve.’
GirlCode has expertise in designing and implementing rapid software training programmes that focus on digital transformation. Their model and methodology are a great fit with Accenture’s objectives, as the robust training platform is elastic and can easily accommodate new content.
‘Our key focus is on providing inclusive and affordable digital access and skills to young girls and women who have been previously excluded or come from disadvantaged communities,’ said Zandile Mkwanazi, Chief Executive Officer for GirlCode.
‘GirlCode was born out of a recognition of an inherent gender bias in the technology sector. Only 23 percent of technology jobs in South Africa are held by women. In addition, the country is facing a dire unemployment crisis, affecting young people in particular. We provide a solution to these problems by introducing girls and women to tech from an early age and supporting them to upskill in coding and design. We offer girls and women the confidence to insert themselves in the labour market as skilled software developers,’ said Mkwanazi.
GirlCode is in alignment with Accenture’s Skills to Succeed initiative that supports and empower people to take on the shifting workforce landscape. ‘With our partners, our global Skills to Succeed initiative has equipped nearly 4.6 million people with the skills to make substantive improvements to their lives. In 2020, this support was in demand even more due to the impact of the pandemic. We continually evolve Skills to Succeed to meet changing market needs and support people throughout their career journey, and we aim to inspire belief in the power of technology to change the world,’ said Nkuna.