The Digital Workplace Readiness Program by Absa and ORT SA: Fighting Unemployment by Equipping the Youth With Relevant Skills

With the unemployment rate sitting at 30.8% in South Africa, the youth are facing more challenges in finding employment than ever before. This is due to the devastating effects that the coronavirus has had on the South African economy. ORT SA, in line with its mission of making people employable, ran the Digital Workplace Readiness Program sponsored by ABSA at the end of 2020. The program focussed on helping the youth acquire digital skills to enable them to find a job in an evolved digitized workplace. 

In this article, we try and unravel the impact that this program has had on the youth.

The Digital Workplace Readiness Program 

The Digital Workplace Readiness Program was a three-month program that started from September to November 2020. The program’s purpose was to remotely upskill and educate unemployed youth by using globally recognized educational platforms (such as Cisco, WHO and LinkedIn). Besides, ORT courses provided film making, graphic design and work readiness training. The program managed to recruit, a staggering number of 396 individuals in a short period. Despite the various challenges throughout the program, the students diligently completed their tasks. 

What People Had to Say

Victor Sibusiso Ndlovu, a beneficiary, had this to say about his experience with the program: I didn’t know that this program could bring about some abilities that I wasn’t aware of initially. I’ve improved my graphic designing skills, project management skills, and communication skills. I did various courses, and I’ve gained a lot of experience. It is the most incredible program that I’ve joined this year, and I’m looking forward to more opportunities.

Thenjiwe Sibiya, one of the program’s facilitators, had this to say: “Students showed much dedication and commitment, they grab the opportunity with both hands. Some students went the extra mile and did more than the required courses.”


In partnership with ABSA, ORT SA is proud to impact youth involved in the programme, as various institutions have already employed some of the youth due to their newly gained skills. Without fail, this program has educated people for a better life.

by Milani Falitenjwa