With an estimated 45% unemployment rate in the Eastern Cape, the tech hub has launched a free programme called the Nerd Academy aimed to uplift the platteland community. By offering online studying opportunities and training in terms of pitching to foreign businesses, Priscilla Kennedy, founder of Piehole.tv, says that the Nerd Academy is one way that the jobless are able to find new and seemingly improbable ways to solve unemployment in the Karoo.
“Education at university level is not always possible for families in the Karoo,” she said.
“It places untenable pressure on the family and if in rare cases they do complete a course, finding a job is near impossible. The Nerd Academy is one way in which we can assist to upskill unemployed people of any age, and then assist them to market themselves successfully.”
The programme caters for technical as well as creative skill sets. Creatively driven individuals often don’t believe there are viable careers available and part of the Nerd Academy approach is to assist those who display creative potential to find a way to build a career using that same talent.
“We are currently working with three young people who are good at drawing, so we are coaching them to become storyboard sketch artists, while also putting them onto Photoshop and other design courses, with the ultimate goal being animation,” added Kennedy.