Pivotal Talent helps Afrika Tikkun boost youth employment in ICT sector

Afrika Tikkun Services has selected Pivotal Talent as its skills assessment partner for the Microsoft Global Skills Initiative, which seeks to empower 25 million people around the world with relevant skills for the digital economy.

Microsoft South Africa partnered with Afrika Tikkun, a non-profit that develops and uplifts young people in underprivileged communities in South Africa, to implement the project locally. The partners aim to mobilise 50,000 unemployed or economically disadvantaged South Africans.

“Demand for digital skills was already rising in South Africa before the pandemic as the economy transitioned towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution and government focused on creating digital citizens for a new world of work,” explains Onyi Nwaneri, CEO Afrika Tikkun Services, a division of Afrika Tikkun.

“However, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated digital transformation in the country, as it did across the globe. What we thought were skills of the future are needed now and can play an important role in job creation.”

Afrika Tikkun Services required a digital assessment tool to assess each applicant and identify their innate talents channel them towards the correct learning pathway.

The organisation selected Pivotal Talent based on the strengths of the company’s unique solution and the teams willingness to find workable solutions to realise the project outcomes.

Pivotal Talent is a technology solutions provider that uses predictive analytics to scientifically and accurately profile, screen, match and rank candidates according to key predictors of performance, retention and potential, relative to a specific role or career field.

Pivotal Talent’s assessment solution is based on an integration model with objective, validated research from over 100 top global institutions compiled over the last 60 years. These models span multiple disciplines and integrate fields as diverse as psychology, neuroscience, organisational theory, ethnology, cultural anthropology, cognitive reasoning, sociology, economics and organisational behaviour.

“Our solution uses this information in a proprietary Augmented Intelligence (AI) algorithmic model to more accurately predict candidate potential and performance. There is no other offering in the market that does what we do,” explains Jessica-Ann Schutte, Sales Support Analyst at Pivotal Talent.

Pivotal Talent developed a bespoke assessment to efficiently, cost-effectively, objectively and accurately assess candidates’ skill sets at the scale required and match them against 10 specified learning paths. Candidates can also easily access the assessment tool online, which doesn’t require significant bandwidth or data.

This assessment process and ease of access is helping Afrika Tikkun Services identify a strong pool of 20,000 candidates who are ICT inclined, as well as those who can perform better in more advanced ICT skills training.

For those with suitable technical aptitude, the initiative will help 1,500 unemployed people to register and complete Microsoft vendor-certified exams in three technical pathways, namely software developer, data analyst and network administrator.

“Ultimately, we want to help at least 2,500 candidates secure jobs or other income-earning opportunities,” adds Nwaneri. “Our objective is to reach our target by September 2021.”

Among the remaining candidates identified by the programme, Afrika Tikkun Services will use the reports provided by Pivotal Talent to determine their best learning pathway to achieve their ideal or preferred qualification.

These candidates will gain access to at least one of the many courses available, which include software development, IT administration, IT support/help desk, data analytics and graphic design, as well as customer service specialist.

“A digital, online tool was the right response to the challenge, and choosing Pivotal Talent was the best decision in this regard. The solution was a real game-changer! Importantly, it supported the assessment volumes required to reach our targets, which would have been impossible with manual processes,” concludes Nwaneri.