By: Grover Abrahams
Almost 4 years ago, I decided to start Verve Digital. As a Learner Management Specialist and Digital Learning Lead with nearly two decades of experience at companies such as Wesbank, Accenture, and Deloitte, it was time for me to take the plunge into South Africa’s education landscape.
To this point, almost three decades post-democracy, the public sector requires support to ensure that our youth are empowered and become skilled through courses that will give them a realistic view of the working world. One look at the unemployment statistics tells us that 66% of the youth are unemployed, the highest in the world. It’s a sad state of affairs that cannot be solved by merely relying on the government. But how do we give support to the desperate youth who are aching for employment opportunities?
Many people are not able to access tertiary education, and as they make their way through their first jobs, they often become indebted to the system and find it hard to maintain their sense of structure. For this reason, it was the realization of the need for new and unconventional learning methods that led to the founding of Verve Digital.
South Africa, as well as the continent, sorely needed such a response. What Verve Digital aims to do is to equip the workforce with courses like entrepreneurship. With the youngest labor force in the world, Africa currently has the fastest-growing population. The World Economic Forum predicts that two out of five children born in 2050 will be born in Africa. Already, 77% of the population is below 35 and the average age is 19 years old.
This is exciting as our youth have the potential to transform Africa, but proactive approaches are necessary. We are facing a major epidemic of unemployment and a lack of skills in South Africa. There has never been a higher unemployment rate in our country, and it is one of the highest rates in the world. The responsibility lies with us to do all we can to reduce this rate substantially, and with future skills, we will be able to reach this goal. Our youth are our future and investing in them is a no-brainer.
Among the unique features of the Verve Digital platform is its mentoring program called Momentumship. This program allows seasoned career professionals to connect with students. By navigating their way through the courses and entering the job market, students can then gain a realistic view and perspective of the working world.
Michael Langeveld, a partner at Verve Digital and the Chief Technology Officer of HPE explains that education is a progressive way to make an impact. “The truth is that we’re sitting with this high unemployment rate and solutions need to be found. It’s not about blame but taking accountability to find work for the youth and the best way is through upskilling them. Joining Verve Digital has been a way for me as a mentor and techno enthusiast to show my passion for seeing South Africa rebuilt into a more advanced country and we must start with the youth”.
Through corporate sponsorships, the company has been able to offer over 400 courses to hundreds of students. As a result, students have been able to study and upskill themselves for entry into the job market.
Verve is also currently seeking mentors to join its platform and offer advice and guidance to the youth. Please email email@example.com should you be interested.
For more information, you can contact the MD of Verve Digital on 076 865 4493 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.