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The Future of Work – Alan Hosking of HR Future Magazine

By | Business, Career guidance, Coding, Computer Science, Programming, Tutoring | No Comments

ADDRESSING THE ICT SKILLS SCARCITY, UNEMPLOYMENT AND JOB REDUNDANCIES NOW AND IN THE FUTURE – EDUCATION IMPERATIVES FOR 2020

According to the World Bank Report on Digital Skills in Sub Saharan Africa, the demand for ICT skills is expected to grow in the region at a faster rate than other global markets. They further cite socio-behavioural skills as a priority for a future workforce.

Joanne Brink, CEO of Brighter Futures interviews Alan Hosking on the scarcity of ICT skills in the South African workplace. A tech-savvy ex-teacher, with decades of experience in the human capital industry, Alan sheds light on the way forward to bridge the skills gap which is crippling businesses, with opportunities to tackle existing youth unemployment, and importantly protect the jobs of people who have a likely consequence of redundancy given rapidly evolving AI technology.

JOANNE BRINK: IN 2019, PRESIDENT CYRIL RAMAPHOSA EXPRESSED AN URGENT NEED FOR PROGRAMMING TO BECOME COMPULSORY IN SCHOOLS. WILL THIS BE ADEQUATE TO ADDRESS THE SCARCITY OF SKILLS?

ALAN: As ICT industry commentator Adrian Schofield says, we have to fix the education system and provide education to build a foundation and open the eyes of the youth to the opportunities in the digital world. 

So, President Ramaphosa’s suggestion is indeed valid and a step in the right direction, but I predict the Department of Education’s solution will fall short of what industry really needs, and even if it addresses the gaps, it will take decades to implement across the system. Parents can therefore not afford to wait until government has a solution in place. They need to take responsibility for their children’s education by seeking out online and classroom tuition solutions that can give their children a head-start.

To address the existing problem in the workplace, companies should identify and “upskill” existing at-risk-employees who, with the emergence of AI and other technology, will very likely become redundant. Offering ICT skills to appropriately selected candidates can address the more pressing needs in the present as well as prepare employees for future career path shifts.

JOANNE BRINK: YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT IS CURRENTLY PEGGED AT OVER 60% AND GROWING – HOW CAN YOUTH BE BEST ABSORBED INTO THE WORKPLACE, IN PARTICULAR THE ICT SECTOR?

ALAN: Generally speaking, there’s not so much a shortage of jobs in the ICT sector as there is a shortage of skills – hence the “war for talent” of which people speak. It is suggested that 5 000 immigrants are taking up jobs in the ICT sector in South Africa and companies are finding themselves with inhibited economic growth as a result of the ICT skills shortage. We need programmes like the Brighter Futures Coding Cafe to fast-track our youth into the growing number of un-filled programming jobs across the globe. In the US alone over one million coding jobs are unfilled.  

There is also a significant opportunity for unemployed young graduates to become part of the ICT education solution. With little investment in upskilling, they can become ICT tutors and teachers in schools. Imagine the kick-start this could give to ICT education!

Because of the rapid pace of innovation and disruption, learning from the past is no longer enough. We now also need to learn from the future. This presents a further opportunity for youth to contribute to a world in which our youth, along with innovators and global forerunners, are the best source of future trends. Companies should therefore deliberately engage with the youth to uncover infinite unexplored possibilities for their businesses in the future. I have been encouraging forward thinking companies to introduce co-mentoring where seasoned mentors are paired with younger co-mentors. This facilitates a mutual exchange of ideas and insights, which leads to futuristic thinking.

JOANNE BRINK: GIVEN YOUR PAST EXPERIENCE AS A TEACHER AND NOW A VOCAL ADVOCATE OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON ONLINE LEARNING VS CLASSROOM LEARNING?

ALAN: Online learning has a valuable role to play in terms of just-in-time, anywhere/anytime learning, but it is largely limited to providing information only. Classroom learning, however, particularly with regard to young people, offers much more in terms of an emotional connection between the learners and the facilitator. Collaboration, critical thinking, decision making, leadership, teamwork, reflection and problem solving are cited as critical skills for the future. These so-called “soft skills” cannot however be learned as effectively online. In addition, classroom tuition facilitates socialisation, which can be used to create focus and nurture collective consciousness. The same can be said for adult learning.

In conclusion; the eternal, universal methods of teaching children that have worked for thousands of years should not be abandoned in the quest to expedite ICT skills development, but what, how and when we learn has to evolve to the next level. The tragedy is that it is unlikely that the education system will get there early enough. 

Joanne Brink is the founder and CEO of Brighter Futures (www.brighterfuture.co.za). Together with university students & graduates employed as tutors and centre managers, Brighter Futures offers Microsoft certified programmes at their Coding Cafes in 25+ school centres in the Gauteng region with a growing footprint. The Coding Cafe offering has emerged as a result of their success in maths tuition, with parents, teachers and learners in awe of the difference they have made in the lives of those they have engaged with.

Alan Hosking is the Publisher of HR Future magazine (www.hrfuture.net), which prepares people and companies for the future of work. He is a leadership development expert who specialises in developing leaders of all ages to reboot their leadership skills for the future. His company, Osgard, is an authorised reseller for a world-first Artificial Intelligence technology that digitises human expertise. In 2018, Alan was named by US web site Disruptordaily.com as one of the “Top 25 Future of Work Influencers to Follow on Twitter”.  

You gave our children reason to dream..

By | Computer Science, Microsoft MTA, Programming, Tutoring | No Comments

From Monica Kenneth, parent of Masechaba (Gr 8) and Thabo (Gr 9) at Uitsig High School

“Morning, my deepest and sincere appreciation to you Agi, you’ve been everything we’ve never been to our children, u gave our children reason to dream and to achieve those dreams, you really empowered our kids and we are really grateful. They’ve made it to the next grade and thanks to you, all your hard work and dedication didn’t go in vain. Looking forward to start a new year with a bañg and having you by their side, we are certain that victory is ours. Have a blessed , merry and prosperous Xmas and New year in advance. Monica”

December Newsletter 2019

By | Computer Science, Diagnostic assessment, Maths, Microsoft MTA, Programming | No Comments

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I can’t believe how the year has flown – yet it’s also felt really long! I’m sure you also feel the need for some R&R and we wish you and your family all the best for the festive season. 

At Brighter Futures – we had an exciting year:
1) As part of our vision to bring 21st century critical skills to our learners, for jobs that haven’t been invented yet – we attended the International Technology Association’s “Future of Technology” conference – read more about it…

2) In line with our vision, we launched the Microsoft Software Development Certificate programme (Coding) for high schools. Read more about how our Gr8-11 learners from Bryanson, Curro and Sacred Heart College performed. We’ll be rolling the Coding programme out to 20+ Gauteng high schools next year. Read more… 

3) Maths Cafe – Feel Good, Do Better, Be Best
Testing over 15,000 Gr8 and 9 learners, our diagnostic assessments show that 40-50% cannot do the primary school basics. Maths Cafe is an 8 month programme that will unlock those blocks in maths by targeting the foundations and building learners confidence. Let’s help learners feel excited about maths again. Hear from our learners, parents and teachers. Read more….

We look forward to continuing to expand our programmes and centres, helping more learners develop the critical 21st century skills required – for jobs that don’t even exist yet.

Warm regards,
Joanne

Brighter Futures CEO
087 805 2600

Glen Sayers from Bryanston High

By | Computer Science, Microsoft MTA, Programming | No Comments

Glen Sayers, Gr11 from @Bryanston High scored 82% on the Microsoft MTA exam. Glen thought the MTA course was a “breath of fresh air as it was very different learning outside of my school’s teachings. I enjoyed how all of the work learnt can be easily related to relevant needs and requirements in the modern world.” We think Glen’s positive attitude and outlook on life will take him far!

Paveshan Nair wants to work in AI or robotics

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Paveshan Nair – Gr11 from Curro Thatchfield Independent School achieved 86% on the Microsoft MTA Software Development Fundamentals. Praveshan likes reading comics, watching movies, playing video games and interacting with technology, especially programming. “I enjoyed the computer science course mostly because of technology’s functions and capabilities. I hope to one day have a career rooted in computer science such as AI development or robotics.The course was very informative, and the tutor made me enjoy the lessons and helped me understand the content thoroughly.” Thanks to @Sibusiso Mkhombe for being such a great tutor!

For more information on the Microsoft MTA Programming course for 2020 – call 087 805 2600 or email info@brighterfuture.co.za

Youngest Microsoft Computer Programmer (MTA) graduate in SA?

By | Computer Science, Microsoft MTA, Programming | No Comments

Meet Shahir Dukhan. He is only Gr8 from Bryanston High School South Africa (Official) and managed to pass with 76% on the Microsoft MTA Programming course! We’re so proud and it goes to show that if you’re passionate about computer science – you will succeed! Shakir hopes that he will become an IT Specialist one day. “The tutor – @Sibusiso Mkhombe – was excellent and an incredible person and educator. He explained concepts in such a way that it was easy to understand, even those things which at first seemed too difficult. He had a nice way of breaking them down concepts to our level. The course was a very good experience for me.”

For more information on the MTA Programming Course for 2020, call 087 805 2600 or email info@brighterfuture.co.za

Meet Sameet Keshav – scored 88% on the Microsoft Programming Certificate (MTA)

By | Computer Science, Microsoft MTA, Programming | No Comments

@Sameet Keshav – Gr11 at Curro Thatchfield Independent School received 88% on the Microsoft MTA Certificate. Sumeet tells us he really loves technology. “In doing the MTA course, I have found that it is a career that I would love to pursue. The best part of the course is the people that I have met, seeing what they are capable of. I also learnt that by working as a team we get to achieve great things.” We are expecting great things from Sumeet!
For more information or to sign-up for the Microsoft MTA Programming course for 2020 – please call 087 805 2600 or email info@brighterfuture.co.za.

Congratulations to our Microsoft Computer Programming high school graduates of 2019

By | Computer Science, Microsoft MTA, Programming | No Comments

Congratulations to our Computer Science graduates this year. The pass mark for the Microsoft MTA Software Development Fundamentals is a whopping 70%. We had 80% of our learners at Curro Thatchfield Independent School passing – well done. And many of the learners at Bryanston High School South Africa (Official) achieved over 80%. We will be profiling a few of these learners on our FB page over the next few days. Watch this space…
For more information on the Microsoft MTA programme for next year, call 0878052600 or email info@brighterfuture.co.za