9 months ago
Accredited teachers and mentors at Message Youth Development. Photo by Sammy Moretsi  ~ 

THE rise of computer technology has dramatically changed the workplace and employment.

It is not enough to be strong or good with your hands. The world needs a whole new set of skills.

This is why Message Youth Development, a non-profit organisation from Bekkersdal, west of Joburg, offers free training to 142 people aged from 18 years to 35.

From January, young men and women have been equipped with skills including Microsoft Office with Excel, Power Point and Access, as well as online and internet media management.

Lucas Mahlangu, trainer and IT expert, said: “Computer training gives youths the skills they need in a rapidly changing job market.

“We offer the world-recognised International Computer Driving Licence certificate.

“Through Second Life Information Services we are also able to provide accredited diplomas for different courses, ranging from three months to a year.”

The programme is sponsored by the local department of social development. It focuses on skills education to uplift communities.

Billy Simamane, director of Message Youth Development and the pastor for a local church called City Of God, told SunEducation: “Rand West will not rise in glory by preaching at it. It needs to be built on a foundation of education and empowerment”

“This service provider provides the training at discounted prices, but it is a constant struggle to function with limited resources – the centre does not have enough computers,” he said.

“We are asking the public to donate laptops, so that the students can learn at the centre and also at home on the laptops.

“We are operating from modified and refurbished containers, so we are secure regarding premises. The major problem is the lack of desktop and laptop computers for staff members and students.

“Crime is the other big problem. It affects us badly. It puts a constant strain on our operations as well as on the mental and physical health of everyone at the centre.

“Luckily the students are able to access the internet for free. This enables them to research information as well as employment opportunities there,” said Billy.

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