This week a group of young people from Johannesburg will begin their careers in the country’s top digital agencies, including Native VML and Retroviral, after graduating from an innovative new industry-led digital bootcamp, Digify.
Backed by Google and IAB SA, youth agency Livity Africa has been running the programme for the last three months providing 18-to-25-year-olds with training in digital and social media skills to prepare them for digital careers.
“South Africa needs to fill at least a quarter of the current workforce with digital professionals and Digify aims to help address this shortage by creating a consistent pipeline of capable and employable young talent into brands and agencies,” says Livity Africa Managing Director Gavin Weale. “We’ve been pioneering vocational internships focused on sourcing young talent for 14 years in the UK and SA, but Digify is a unique new strand that is responding directly to a clear and present industry need for digital talent from diverse backgrounds.”
“Led by Google and industry experts, our Digify graduates have received intensive training in digital campaigns, social media and content creation, as well as key Google modules including Search, AdWords, YouTube and Analytics. They have also had the opportunity hear from industry leaders from Quirk, Native VML, Net#work BBDO, Retroviral and 42 Engines, as well as working directly with agencies on live briefs from Red Bull and Net#work BBDO to Native VML’s reading mobile app bookly.”
“We are proud to announce that our first group of Digifyers have completed the three-month training, and following an intensive interview process, many of our participants have already secured roles in digital agencies including Native VML and Retroviral. We aim to place all graduates in paid entry level jobs or internships in the digital industry,” says Gavin
Google provided funding, training and mentorship for the Digify programme as part of a local initiative to build digital talent in South Africa. “The digital economy is growing fast in South Africa and we need to ensure we create next generation digital talent in order to harness the opportunities it brings. We’re really proud of the first group of Digify graduates who over the past three months have demonstrated their passion and dedication to embracing careers in digital marketing. We will be watching their progress with excitement as they go on to be placed at some of the best agencies in the country,” says Google South Africa Country Marketing Manager Elizma Nolte
Native VML was one of the digital agencies that have jumped at the chance to offer internships to Digify graduates. “With its direct links to industry, Digify is a crucial vocational training programme which will help bridge the skills gaps faced by young people transitioning from university to their first career in digital. We are excited to offer five intern roles at Native VML to the first Digify graduates,” says Native VML Head of Human Resources Vanessa Gibb.
IAB SA Chairman Jarred Cinman concurs that South Africa sorely lacks talent and praised the initiative. “South Africa’s digital industry doesn’t have enough new young talent with the digital marketing skills required by industry. Programmes like Digify are needed to ensure the industry can continue to compete in the global market,” says Jarred.