15 October 2019 

We have partnered with the Maharishi Institute (MI) to set up the Absa Cybersecurity Academy to address a skills shortage. The programme is an externally focused, corporate social responsibility initiative aimed at empowering marginalised South African youth, who would otherwise not have had access to a tertiary education. The learners who participate will become certified cybersecurity analysts. 

South African youth from marginalised backgrounds are hungry for opportunities to develop skills that will result in employment. They are often unable to access tertiary education due to financial circumstances and without education their future is bleak and the cycle of poverty continues. 

Given the enormous need for skilled cybersecurity professionals locally and globally, we saw the opportunity to truly make a difference. The youth aged 15-24 years are the most vulnerable in the South African labour market. Statistics SA reported that the unemployment rate among this age group was 55% in the first quarter of 2019, while Cyber Ventures estimates that the global shortfall of cybersecurity jobs will rise to 3.5 million by 2021. 

It is a challenge partially rooted in the socio-economic environment, the growing void between youth skills, employer needs and because the South African education system is failing to train the next generation for the digital economy.

Unlocking hidden talents that will make the African continent the hub of cybersecurity talent; we have the people, we just need to help them rewrite their futures.

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