Kenya: Telco Addresses Kenya Digital Skills Deficit

Nairobi — MOBILE network operator, Safaricom, has unveiled a programme to empower and train employees looking to shift to new digital careers.

Known as The Digital Academy, the initiative especially caters to employees working in technology careers that are becoming automated as computers gain more capabilities and take on more roles.

Safaricom has already fully trained 60 of its staff and placed them in new roles.

An industry first, the initiative is also helping the company bridge a shortage of talent as it seeks to bridge a customer shift to increasingly digital lifestyles.

The company stated that the digital transformation was behind the growth of demand for data scientists, data analysts and new-age programming experts amongst other roles.

"Safaricom operates in a fast paced environment where technology is ever changing," Chief Executive Officer, Michael Joseph, said.

"Recent advances have automated sections of our network meaning that certain careers will soon no longer be necessary," he added.

Joseph said at the same time, these changes were driving demand for new skills where there was a shortage of talent in the market.

"The Digital Academy is a human resource innovation that has enabled us to both empower our staff with new skills and to have the right mix of talent based on our customer needs," Joseph said.

The Digital Academy offered a six month full-time course in five programs including Technology Automation, Cloud Computing, Cyber Security, Data Science, Emerging Network Technologies and Mobile Application Development.

The first three months of the course were classroom-based with the last three months seeing the employees practically applying their new skills in developing new workplace innovations.

Besides the academy, Safaricom has also deployed a digital learning platform that will provide on-the-job training in more than 10 000 courses to its entire staff.

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