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‘Don’t fear the new technology’

Youth boosted by internships, bootcamps

Entrepreneur Kgaolo Malatji.

By Thembelani Mkhize

With all the stress, death and heartbreak we’ve experienced this year, it’s safe to say that Covid-19 was a wake-up call?

I’m not just talking about the loss of human life but also the businesses and workers who suffered the devastating economic impact of the virus. Some didn’t make it out of the pandemic while others had to adapt and survive.

Automatic

Adaptation in the era of corona meant the introduction of new technology. A lot of people, fearful of the new developments, had an issue with automated tellers in restaurants and supermarkets in 2019. People were also scared of losing their jobs to machines.

Leaps in technology should not be feared, says the writer. Picture: Uriel Soberanes/Unsplash

Retail employees were referred to as front-line essential employees during the pandemic. A lot of them were afraid of coming into contact with the virus, but the need to secure their livelihood outweighed health and safety concerns.

Out of all the pandemonium, one question was still stuck in my head. Are we as business people ready for the future?

Eighty-five percent of my clients are young African entrepreneurs and some recently started their businesses, either just before or during the lockdown.

Nokwanda Maphumulo of Mazikode Events and Catering.

Most of the larger companies I do work for are shifting their attention to online presence and communication. Websites, apps and e-commerce sites have become the new “walk-in stores” where you can get all you need from a company from the comfort of your home.

There’s a few ways you can catch up on the technology industry, which is becoming more and more central to the way we live, work and do business.

Umuzi is an online learning platform I’ve been monitoring recently. According to its website, the learning institution works with top employers supporting the youth to access high-value tech jobs such as data analysts, web developers and UX/UI designers.

I checked out the site and found that they offered copywriters a chance to join an online learnership bootcamp. Recruits receive a monthly stipend for a year before being placed with a relevant company on Umuzi’s network, including organisations like Sanlam, Investec and Discovery, to name a few.

Revolution arrived

One of the recruits, web developer/graphic designer Kgaolo Malatji (website kgaolo.com), who we have featured on the cover photo of this blog, is the co-founder of BlackPage Media Group a branding, PR and design company. He’s been arming himself with knowledge to get himself and his company aligned for the 4th industrial revolution. Malatji believes the Covid-19 pandemic has significantly hastened this “revolution’s” arrival.

“Technology and progress are inevitable,” says Malatji, “people shouldn’t fear it but embrace it. That automated teller at McDonald’s will eventually need maintenance. A software engineer might create the platform but there will be a need for an electrician to put together all the wiring. IT support guys will be needed to maintain the software and make sure it’s running smoothly, and a designer has to make sure that you are attracted to using the automated teller,” he added.

An automated teller at McDonald’s. Picture: bloomberg.com

Malatji is taking part in a challenge by Umuzi for recruits to come up with anything in the tech space that works, or is a viable solution for tech issues. Malatji and his team are building a site for Umuzi to make the learning experience more relatable and user friendly for recruits.

A website design by Code League. Malatji and his fellow recruits are developing it for a competition during the holidays.

Finding a way to integrate is not easy, but upskilling is something we should all look at in our respective fields. Being a double or triple threat with your skills is beneficial, not only for you, but companies will be looking for people who can do more than one job efficiently.

It not only saves them a lot of money, but opens you up to more channels/perspectives on how to create an income.

By the same writer: about natural healing and embracing nature

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