Telkom subsidiary, BCX, has announced a significant contribution of R60 million to WeThinkCode as they have become the new primary growth partner of the organisation which offers a tuition-free programme designed to educate the next generation of software engineers in South Africa.
BCX will provide the R60 million over three years for WeThinkCode to invest in the next generation of talent in the ICT sector. With the support of this BCX investment, WeThinkCode will aim to more than double the number of entry-level coders in the South African Market by the end of 2018. With South Africa having a noticeable skills gap in the ICT market WeThink Code aims to breed and nurture the next generation of South African ICT employees.
The funds made available by BCX will enable the expansions and upgrades to the WeThinkCode’s Johannesburg office and allow for the opening of a new campus in Cape Town in 2017. As part of this agreement, BCX and other Telkom Group companies will host 40 interns from WeThinkCode’s innovative educational programme every year for the next three years.
“I’m incredibly inspired by the mission of WeThinkCode,” said Sipho Maseko, Telkom Group CEO. “The Telkom Group has always been invested in youth skills and transformation in South Africa, especially in the digital space. Coding skills are a vital component of the new digital economy, and WeThinkCode’s innovative programme is a great way to invest in the future digital minds of South Africa.”
WeThinkCode is open to anyone between the age of 17 and 35. Students don’t need any previous education, including matric. Prospective students complete an aptitude test followed by a 4-week boot camp, before undertaking a two-year course in programming and coding. Students concurrently complete internships to ensure that their skills are applied in real-life scenarios.
“At BCX, we’re committed to preparing African businesses to compete in the new digital economy. We advise our customers that if they don’t invest in digitalisation, they should be prepared to be left behind,” said Ian Russell, CEO of BCX. “We’re practicing what we preach with this agreement with WeThinkCode. We’re gaining first access to the next generation of digital talent in South Africa – the folks that will be behind the next big thing.”
WeThinkCode will be using the funds provided by BCX to enable expansion of their current Johannesburg facility, cover tuition costs for students and begin developing a new campus in Cape Town. This new campus, built to further diversify the student profile of WeThinkCode, will hold 200 more students and is expected to offer its first classes in early 2018.
“We are thrilled to work with BCX as our Growth Sponsor to expand and enhance our programme throughout South Africa,” said Arlene Mulder, Managing Director and co-founder of WeThinkCode. “The careers of the future in this country depend on technology skills and it is extremely important that businesses like BCX, a leader in digitalisation, work with us to allow our students every opportunity to develop their talents to create world-changing solutions for the digital era.”