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Next year’s opportunities to empower young STEM talent open

Home Business Management Education & Training Next year’s opportunities to empower young STEM talent open

VODACOM has opened applications to its Early Careers programmes for the 2025 intake. The initiative is part of Vodacom’s commitment to supporting youth development in South Africa, whilst creating an inclusive digital society by nurturing emerging talent in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) through employment and education opportunities.

“As Vodacom celebrates connecting South Africans over the past three decades, we are also looking towards the future and how we can continue to use our capabilities in building an inclusive digital society. Supporting digital skills development and diversity in STEM is critical to this ambition, especially among our youth, who face an evolving employment landscape dependent on digital technology. Our Early Career programmes provide life-changing opportunities that empower young people to pave a path in a digital world,” says Njabulo Mashigo, human resources director of Vodacom South Africa.

The Early Careers opportunities include the Discover Graduate Programme, which is designed for future leaders and offers graduates a holistic experience of working at Vodacom, such as mentorship, coaching, and on-the-job training, all while earning a full salary. After two years, participants can transition into a destination role within the organisation.

The Vodacom Early Careers Internship Programme also provides valuable work experience at the company through a paid 12-month fixed-term contract for graduates. Interns can explore career paths, network with professionals in STEM and develop competencies in the digital techco environment. Undergraduates can apply for Vodacom’s Early Careers Academic Merit Bursary. This is open to full-time first-year, second-year or third-year students who intend to study or are studying STEM fields but may lack the necessary resources to continue their education.

The following are the statistics from the company’s Early Career Program for the 2023/2024 financial year:

  • #CodelikeaGirl: Since the program’s launch, 2451 high school girls have gained coding skills, increasing the total to almost 6000 girls trained. The purpose of #Code Like a Girl is to introduce underprivileged girls to coding basics, life skills and available career paths while dismantling gender stereotypes that exist around STEM.
  • Awarded bursaries to 183 youth pursuing an academic degree, 69 of which went to students with disabilities.
  • A total of 176 jobless youth were given work experience chances through the company’s internship and learnership programs; Vodacom hired 56 of them into its permanent workforce structure.
  • The flagship Discover Graduate Programme provided permanent employment to 57 graduates.

“Our Early Careers initiatives demonstrate our commitment to creating a people-centric, progressive, diverse and inclusive organisational culture, resulting in our recognition as the number one Top Employer in South Africa. Importantly, we are fulfilling our purpose to drive digital inclusion, enable sustainable socioeconomic development and contribute to a brighter future for our youth and our country,” concludes Mashigo.

Apply to any of the Early Careers programmes for 2025 at https://www.vodacom.com/early-careers.php

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