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Microsoft turns graduates into employable computer...

Written by Albert Pule and SAinfo

Youth matters

Microsoft South Africa has partnered with the government’s Jobs Fund to give unemployed graduates in the Information Technology (IT ) sector opportunities to get employed permanently in the next three years.

Three thousand unemployed graduates will sign 12-month contracts under the banner of the Jobs Fund, with a target of having at least 75 per cent of them employed in full-time jobs by the end of their training.

The Jobs Fund was announced by President Jacob Zuma during the State of the Nation Address in 2011. Following this announcement, the fund was successfully launched in June 2011 by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and an amount of R9 billion was set aside, to be allocated over a three-year period.

President of Microsoft International, Jean-Phillippe Courtois said the partnership with the fund will increase Microsoft’s skills development programmes through funding from the Jobs Fund and the company's own 4Afrika initiative.

Patrick Dlamini, Chief Executive Officer of the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), which administers the Jobs Fund, said the partnership with Microsoft is a major breakthrough in creating jobs in South Africa’s IT sector.

“We’ve been extremely encouraged by the way the private sector has risen to the challenge of helping create jobs in South Africa. Indeed, these types of partnerships between the private and public sectors will be significant contributors to the more than 100 524 new permanent jobs which our current portfolio of approved projects aims to create by 2015.” he said.

Mteto Nyati, Microsoft South Africa's managing director, said youth unemployment was "one of the biggest threats and challenges facing South Africa today". It is estimated that 25 per cent of all South Africans are unemployed. Seventy per cent of the unemployed are young people.