At their ongoing engineering summit, Safaricom PLC announced a program to nurture and upskill young talent joining the tech market. The Industry Digital Apprenticeship Program seeks to foster digital skill development within the market by adopting a sustainable strategy to nurture a robust digital talent pipeline. Hence, creating a reservoir of digital expertise to serve the industry’s needs.
Safaricom lists skill shortage as one of the driving factors behind the initiative. Secondly, the program is meant to address the skills gap often witnessed among students who have just graduated with technology courses.
Thus, the telco together with partners will work to actively develop the tech talent in Kenya. Students will be able to apply for the program. Undergoing, the apprenticeship will get the young talent up to speed with the requirements of the current job market. Hence, they will be ready to be absorbed into workplaces.
So far, Safaricom has brought 10 partners on board. The partners in the program are drawn from academia, Tech hubs, government, and trainers.
The Industry Digital Apprenticeship Program will involve a 6 to 9-month process. Those who apply for the apprenticeship program will have to undergo a selection process. Thereafter they will be part of a training program and have mentors from the tech space.
Young Kenyan tech students will then be placed on industrial internships to gain real-world experience and put their skills to use. On completion, the students will be open to employment in a vast and ever-growing tech marketplace.
Apprenticeship Program Will Shelter Safaricom From Talent Exodus
The apprenticeship program is timely and a move by the telco to cater to its own needs. In recent years, global tech giants like Google, Microsoft and most recently Amazon have made Kenya their African hub.
Unfortunately for Safaricom, this has often seen their best talent priced away from the telco by the global giants. Furthermore, the growing number of start-ups across Africa has also seen the telco raided. Quite often, the young companies with cash to burn are often willing to top talent higher remunerations.
Losing talent comes at a huge cost as a number of the migrating staff will have spent years honing their skills at the telco. Additionally, replacing quality talent might mean offering a higher remuneration package for the same position.
Creating a ready and expert young talent pool is Safaricom’s move to protect itself. Needless to say, if run well this will place Kenya on the global map as a rich tech talent hub.