Press Office: Soronko Academy
Soronko Academy, a software development and social enterprise, announced the launch of a skills assessment tool for digital jobs, My Digital Skills, in partnership with Mastercard Foundation. The tool will test for technical and soft skills to help prepare young women for the job market, as part of the Young Africa Works Strategy by the Mastercard Foundation which focuses on finding solutions to the youth employment challenge and reducing poverty in Africa. Launched at a critical time, this platform also includes a Covid-19 assessment test, aimed at providing users with more information about the disease, including best practice measures such as social distancing and handwashing. The platform also ensures that users are informed about treatment methods and centres across the country.
With employment being a pivotal pathway out of poverty for families, Soronko Academy has partnered with Mastercard Foundation to ensure that young women are not left behind in the job market, especially in the ICT Sector in Ghana. Despite multiple job matching platforms in Ghana, there is currently a gap in understanding the actual communication and digital skills level of work seekers on these platforms, making the vetting and recruitment process challenging for employers. My Digital Skills will ensure that economically disadvantaged young women (aged 18-35) in Ghana have the opportunity to assess their skills in order to either seek further training or to be matched with appropriate jobs. The skills assessment tool will also ensure that employers are matched with candidates who have the exact skills required for the role. Due to Covid-19 and the increase of social distancing practices, now, more than ever is the time for young women to get up to speed on certain skills they may previously have been lacking in order to re-enter the job market with full force.
The launch of My Digital Skills is directly in line with the Government of Ghana’s recently established policies to drive digital transformation in the country, spearheaded by the Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia. The Government is harnessing digital technology as a key enabler of labour market effectiveness, job creation and ultimately economic transformation. Specific measures implemented as part of Ghana’s digital agenda include: e-business registration system, a paperless port clearance system, a digital address system and a national identification card system. In Ghana, the service sector is currently the biggest contributor to GDP, accounting for 57 percent and more specifically, the ICT sector is estimated to contribute about $750 million to Ghana’s GDP.
First of its kind in Ghana, My Digital Skills will evaluate both technical and digital skills such as basic digital skills, digital marketing, coding, blogging, graphic design, video creation, animation, robotics, 3D printing & design as well as soft skills such as leadership, innovation, creativity, work attitude and aptitude, entrepreneurship, etiquette and work ethics. Users will then have their digital level scored and ranked as either trainable or employable and thereafter recommendations will be made for training programs or jobs available within the skill set presented. The platform will allow for continuous assessment and data collection, which will be used to inform universities and polytechnics of the skills the industry needs and those that are available on the job market.
In introducing the tool and emphasizing its importance, Soronko Academy founder, Regina Honu stated, “Skills assessment and empowerment for women in ICT in Ghana is very important to us here at Soronko Academy. The female labour force participation rate in Ghana is estimated at 74.77%, and women account for about 49.1% of the entire population of Ghana. However, there is a disparity in women’s participation within the labour market compared to men, with most economically active women operating within the informal sector. This is why tools and initiatives like this within the ICT sector are so important, to not only close the digital gender gap but to also ensure women are equipped with the right skills that will allow them to thrive and be competitive. We are proud to partner with the Mastercard Foundation and contribute to their goal of enabling 30 million young people to secure dignified and fulfilling work by 2030.”
Soronko Academy is not new to projects that are aimed at improving the lives of disenfranchised women by helping them build marketable job skills. In 2013 the company started a movement called Tech Needs Girls where women and girls are mentored to lead and innovate by learning how to code. Soronko Academy currently has over 200 volunteers and mentors who are either computer scientists or engineers and has trained over 10,000 mentees in eight regions across Ghana. The program has been expanded to Burkina Faso where girls are being taught to code in French. Some mentees have received full scholarships, including Mastercard Foundation Scholarships to study computer science and other courses at Ashesi University and universities in USA and Canada.
Access the skills assessment tool for digital jobs here
Soronko Academy is a software development and social enterprise company with a mission to use technology to drive human potential. Soronko Academy offers training in technical and soft skills, and their students in internships and jobs and support others to start their own businesses. The company is also piloting introducing coding to the curriculum in public schools to change the way science and technology is taught and to promote critical thinking and problem solving. Their main focus is to provide young people, especially women and girls, skills which will ensure that they are prepared for the future of work, bridge the gender gap in technology and become economically independent. For more information, please visit www.soronkoacademy.com