Addressing scarce skills and empowering youth with disabilities

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01 November 2022

All learners have the right to access quality education. This commitment is an integral part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which pledges that no child will be left behind. It is thus important to focus on the educational participation of learners with disabilities, and Absa is committed to supporting disability-inclusive programmes.

The reality is that, in South Africa, there is a substantial population of people with disabilities who are faced with the challenges of limited access to education and resulting poverty. Many learners with disabilities are not in school or adequately supported to access education and opportunities to achieve independence and employment. Historically, a large percentage of South Africa’s disabled population have had no access to formal schooling, with more than half being denied access to high school for various reasons of circumstance. As a community with unique needs and a unique culture, persons with disabilities face several socioeconomic challenges, including a lack of employable skills and inaccessibility to mainstream training services.

To address the high unemployment rate among persons with disabilities (including those with hearing impairments), the National Institute for Development and Training NPC (NID Training NPC) offers accessible accredited occupational and artisan skills training and work-placement services.

NID Training NPC provides relevant sector-based programmes addressing critical and scarce skills as well as the needs of unemployed people and first-time entrants to the labour market, promotes the holistic development of learners and ensures that disabled beneficiaries have equal access to opportunities.

By adopting a demand-led approach to education and skills development, Absa supports leading specialists to empower and equip young people with the training and tools that they need for employment and entrepreneurship.

This takes place through an approach that considers both the needs of the marketplace and the holistic development of young people as they enter the workplace or prepare for entrepreneurship, helping develop the technical, vocational, social and digital skills required to support Africa’s growth sectors and promoting youth employability.

Absa is thus proud to support 120 NID Training NPC students from across South Africa, predominantly from underprivileged rural areas, communities and/or backgrounds. These students are enrolled in the End-user Computing Programme (NQF Level 3), teaching the technologies and skills required by information technology professionals to deploy, manage and secure computing devices, applications and data. Students will be supported from 2022 to 2024, by which time they will have earned a NQF level 5 qualification in either Systems Development or Systems Support. Support from Absa through this project will also assist with institutional disability capacity-building through various workplace sensitisation initiatives.

The programmes selected for this project have been aligned with the needs and trends in the ITC sector. This sector tends to employ people who are younger than 35, the age group to whom NID Training NCP caters. The ICT sector is well established and contributes approximately 8.2% to South Africa’s GDP, a contribution that is expected to grow as the country embraces the fourth industrial revolution. With the assistance of NID Training NCP and hardworking organisations like them, disabled youth will be empowered to excel in this flourishing industry.

The overall aim of the project is the provision and workplace support of needs-driven, accessible skills and occupational directed training to increase the employability of unemployed and underemployed youth with disabilities.

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