Microsoft South Africa has expanded its long-term partnership with Youth Employment Service (YES) to deliver artificial intelligence training for 300,000 young people in South Africa.
YES and Microsoft have curated and developed a bespoke training programme that addresses the different levels of exposure to AI and computer science. The programme will include an introductory AI learning module, which has been designed to provide an entry-level view of AI and highlight its purpose and value to students. It’s hoped the training will enable young people to build their AI skills to an expert level and ultimately drive employability and economic growth in South Africa.
The training programme was launched at the A New Era with AI event on 30 October 2023. The training is considered to be a ‘game changer’ by the more than 1,000 IT professionals and developers leading the charge on AI transformation within the country.
“This collaborative effort with Microsoft is a testament to our ongoing commitment to equipping the youth with the digital skills for future-facing sectors and careers,” said Ravi Naidoo, CEO of YES. “The significant number of beneficiaries underscores the scale of impact we want to achieve through this partnership.”
The partnership is geared towards creating a surge in job creation and enhanced employability in South Africa.
“Together with YES, we are not only addressing the pressing issue of youth unemployment but also helping create a culture of innovation and employability through digital capability building,” said Lillian Barnard, president for Microsoft Africa. “Microsoft’s approach to AI is based on meaningful innovation, empowering people, and responsibility. This partnership delivers on these three pillars as the means to grow a new talent pool for digital businesses to tap into not only in South Africa, but the rest of the world.”
People completing the YES AI expert training module will be eligible for certification.