JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – PEOPLE living with disabilities in South Africa have received a major empowerment boost after the launch of a programme aiming to create opportunities for them in the lucrative information and communications technology sector.
Accenture, the leading global professional services company, has launched the initiative in Johannesburg as part of a commitment to support disability inclusion in the industry.
The launch was conducted in conjunction with programme partners KLM Empowered, Mentec, Southern African Youth Project and the Johannesburg Centre for Software Engineering.
Through the EmployAbility Cadet Programme, trainees will over the three-year learnership programme complete qualifications in project management (NQF4) and advanced project management (NQF5), as well as a National Certificate in Information Technology.
Participants also will obtain practical experience and the opportunity to put the theoretical knowledge into practice.
“The goal of the programme is to create meaningful career opportunities for people with disabilities within the ICT sector,” says Gale Shabangu, Accenture’s Inclusion and Diversity Lead in South Africa.
She says participants will obtain the theoretical training as well as the on-the-job practical experience and skills they require to be fully prepared for possible future career opportunities.
After completing the programme, graduates will participate in an 18-month internship programme at the Accenture South Africa Delivery Centre.
The goal is to attract and retain persons with disabilities into the ICT sector and ensure their sustainable and career-focused employment, versus ad-hoc, temporary work opportunities.
“Accenture welcomes people with different capabilities, perspectives and experiences because we believe that this diversity emanates in novel ideas and approaches to business challenges, a higher level of innovative thinking, and more-varied tactics that help achieve greater levels of success,” Shabangu adds.
In South Africa, 7,5 percent of the population (over 2,87 million) live with some form of a disability.
According to Statistics SA, only more than 5 percent of disabled people obtain higher education and the rest get lost in the system.
Despite equality and dignity enshrined in the Constitution people with disabilities are marginalised and excluded from many aspects of life.