A force for good

Education and skills development

We champion education and skills development

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Our continent’s young people face a rapidly changing world and it’s with this in mind that we have made a very clear strategic commitment to our continent and the development of its youth.

Rapid advances in artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and other emerging technologies are happening in ever-shorter cycles, changing the very nature of the jobs that need to be done and the skills needed to do them.

It is essential to equip our youth with the full range of skills, knowledge and attitudes being sought after by employers and that they need to be employable. We do this with a demand-led approach, and our initiatives support the development of their technical, vocational, social and digital skills in line with the requirements of Africa’s key growth sectors.

We have prioritised education and skills development, and we are partnering with leading specialists to empower young people with the training and tools they need for employment and entrepreneurship in the workplace of the future.

This is done by

  • Funding access to quality tertiary education with innovative education financing solutions.
  • Offering a curated Fellowship Programme focused on developing a cadre of authentic, accountable and ethical future leaders with the potential to play a shaping role in their respective communities on the African continent.
  • Advancing digital, technical and vocational skills development through artisanship, alternative qualification and skills development pathways, specialised academies and sector cross-skilling.
  • Promoting women and youth entrepreneurship; and
  • Supporting institutional capacity building and teacher training

Education and employability initiatives

Absa ReadytoWork

Absa ReadytoWork is a Pan-African education and skills development initiative designed to help young people go from learning to earning.

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Absa Fellowship Programme

Through academic funding and expert guidance, the Absa Fellowship Programme helps future leaders to rise and steer this continent to a brighter future.

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Technical and vocational education and training (TVET)

We support a number of TVET initiatives to ensure young people learn the necessary technical, vocational, social and digital skills to open pathways to new opportunities, while remaining responsive to the needs of industry to accelerate youth transitions into the world of work.

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Disability inclusive training

We support disability-inclusive programmes, collaborating with organisations such as the National Institute for Development and Training NPC and the South African Mobility for the Blind Trust, ensuring all learners can access quality education.

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We support the growth of demand-led education and sectors such as Agri Business. The Agri Scholarship additionally links Agri students to an Absa Agri specialist, who will be a mentor for the students.

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We also support fledging printmaking artists at Artist Proof Studio (APS) with scholarships.

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Mobility Scholarship

To combat a lack of affordable and reliable transportation, we work with Qhubeka to supply bicycles to South African students, bringing about real change in school attendance and performance.

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Youth earning opportunities

We work closely with the Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator to implement the Last Mile Delivery, a programme that is creating earning opportunities for unemployed youth by training them to become delivery drivers.

Financial literacy

In South Africa, we support the Financial Literacy Speech Competition for Schools, inculcating financial literacy and knowledge in the formal schooling environment using an interesting and engaging approach.

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Young entrepreneurs

In Ghana, we entered a five-year partnership with the Mastercard Foundation to create the Absa Young Africa Works, aimed at enabling young people, particularly young women, to access work by investing in SMMEs.

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Training student teachers

By working with Save the Children South Africa and Teacher Internship Collaboration South Africa, we give student teachers from rural backgrounds the chance to inspire young minds in the classroom while completing their qualification.

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