Merchants Academy joins the drive for digital inclusion
As part of its dedication to building a pipeline of talent equipped with future-ready skills, the Merchants Academy has partnered with digital skills development business, Social Coding, to provide accreditation for 20 of its facilitators.
“The importance of this accreditation for our facilitators is two-fold,” says Thembiso Magajana, founder at Social Coding. “Firstly, this is giving the candidates future-ready skills that they can use in their work with children in rural communities, aimed at driving digital inclusion. Additionally, it will also make these candidates more employable – which cannot be underestimated in South Africa.”
The course includes career and skills coaching for all candidates, and focuses on building skills such as interpersonal communication and empathy, for example. “These kinds of soft skills are incredibly important as we move toward the 4th Industrial Revolution in South Africa and begin to work alongside technology more and more. The human touch should never be underestimated, especially when it comes to advancing education within our nation,” says Mat Conn, Group CRO at Merchants.
The training kicked off in the last week of February with a week-long onboarding and training event in Menlyn – including training, face-to-face interaction with Merchants mentors and trainers, and practical demonstrations. This is followed by 4 months on online training through Merchants’ training partner, Chartall Business College, supported by the Merchants Mentors and People Development team – this will be concluded with a formal graduation ceremony and certification.
Through their partnership with Merchants, Social Coding has been able to hire 4 further facilitators to assist with its training at Segopotje Secondary School in Mashite, Limpopo – all of whom are part of this training. This brings the number of dedicated facilitators at the school to 7 and allows the team to support 720 learners with digital inclusion training – up from 240 last year.
“Our partnership with Merchants has been instrumental in our growth as an organisation and has allowed us to advance learning and digital inclusion in the region drastically – in less than a year,” notes Magajana.
“Merchants continues to be exceptionally proud of this partnership and the work that the Social Coding team are doing to drive development in South Africa’s rural communities. It is an honour to be part of this work,” concludes Conn.