Telkom subsidiary BCX (formerly Business Connexion) said on Wednesday that it will invest R60m in skills development over the next three years. The money will be pumped into WeThinkCode to more than double the number of entry-level coders in the South African market by the end of 2018.
WeThinkCode, launched in 2015, was founded by Arlene Mulder, Camille Agon, Yossi Hasson and Justinus Adriaanse and is modelled on 42, a French computer programming school. The organisation has created a facility in Braamfontein, where youngsters from all social and economic backgrounds are trained to become programmers — at no cost to them.
Mulder, who serves as WeThinkCode’s MD, welcomed the investment, saying it will allow the organisation to expand and enhance its programme across South Africa.
BCX will now be the “primary growth partner” of WeThinkCode, the company said. The funds will provide for the expansion and upgrade of WeThinkCode’s Johannesburg office and result in the opening of a new campus in Cape Town in 2017. The Cape Town facility will hold 200 students and is expected to offer its first classes in early 2018.
As part of this agreement, BCX and other Telkom companies will host 40 interns from WeThinkCode’s innovative educational programme every year for the next three years, BCX said.
Nearly 40 000 South African students applied for the programme in 2017, and 200 students were accepted into the course.
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 four-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.
The interns will begin working at BCX and other Telkom companies at the end of 2017. BCX and the broader Telkom group previously sponsored five interns from WeThinkCode’s 2016 class. – © 2017 NewsCentral Media