Global ICT company Huawei has urged high school learners to consider career opportunities in ICT and has highlighted the benefits of participating in the digital economy.
Huawei recently partnered with the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT) and the Limpopo Department of Basic Education in an ICT career expo targeting learners from rural and developing areas.
The event took place on 17-18 February 2020 at the Thohoyandou Indoor Sports Centre in the Vhembe District Municipality and was attended by around 500 learners from 10 Limpopo schools.
Huawei, which runs several digital skills programmes in South Africa, under its ICT Talent Ecosystem, said its participation in the DCDT programme, was in line with its belief that digital literacy is a basic human right in the digital era and foundational for broadening the digital economy.
The DCDT programme, led by the department’s Deputy Minister Pinky Kekana, brought together government, private industry, state-owned enterprises and other stakeholders to promote youth skills development and capacity building in the areas of communications and digital technologies.
“The Expo is a very important programme organised by the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies, The Department of Education in the Vhembe District as well as the Province of Limpopo, which sees learners from rural schools exposed to digital transformation.
We hope that the outcome of the expo will result in the exposure of Learners to opportunities and avenues available to them in their pursuit of careers in ICT,” said DCDT Deputy Minister, Pinky Kekana.
Deputy Minister Kekana commended Huawei for its continued support for the development of the local ICT sector from its innovative telecoms infrastructure which enables increased connectivity and its ICT skills development programs, including its participation in this school’s career fair which gave learners an insight into the latest technologies.
Huawei SA Deputy CEO, Kian Chen said the company’s presence at the career expo aligned with its view that policymakers, educational institutions, businesses, and individuals must work together to bridge digital skills gaps.
“We are very happy to be here in Thoyando, Limpopo, to encourage young people to engage with technology, more importantly, we need them to pursue careers in ICT. As a global leader in this sector, we completely support the DCDT programme to ensure that learners have the opportunity to engage with ICT. As a business, we have a responsibility to engage with young people to open their minds to the possibilities that a career in ICT will give them.”
Chen cited the United Nations proclamation of digital literacy as “a basic human right in a digital world”. For individuals, acquiring digital skills can bring significant economic returns. The average salary of workers with higher digital skills is 27% higher than that of ordinary workers. In developing countries, using ICT in the workplace can yield a 40% return.
“My team and I spent as much time with as many learners as we could. The learners were engaged and eager to learn. For me, this is a clear indication that the youth have a hunger for ICT knowledge and the future looks bright for the digital sector, concluded Chen.