It’s a conundrum: no job without experience and no experience without a job

Mindworx sees success in bridging employment gap with Digital Pods 

Young IT graduate looking for employment

South African talent and solutions agency Mindworx is seeing outstanding results from its Digital Pods, with more than 90% of learners finding permanent employment at the end of the programme.

To bridge the divide between youth unemployment and organisational staffing needs for scarce digital skills, Mindworx launched its Digital Pods a year ago, providing a managed service to assist clients with critical digital projects. The Mindworx team maps the project, determines its clear outcomes and deliverables and configures a team of unemployed digital graduates, sourced through the Mindworx Academy, with the exact skills required for the task. Dedicated senior managers and functional experts guide, mentor and manage each Pod with a keen focus on return on investment for the client while providing young jobseekers with much-needed work experience. 

Entry-level candidates often lack the necessary skills to navigate the rapidly changing digital landscape. At the same time, many businesses are stretched too thin to provide extensive mentoring and coaching for them to take on inexperienced digital talent. Thus, a more gradual integration is necessary for these budding professionals to gain the essential skills and experience to thrive.  

Besides the necessary technical skills, learners are also taught the personal and professional 21st-century skills needed for succeeding in the workplace, including curiosity, grit, complex problem-solving, collaboration, empathy and networking.

“The key to the success of the Digital Pod programme is the unique blend of relevant learning experiences, clear expectations, a steadfast commitment to delivery, opportunities for real-world work, the courage to embrace mistakes, and an emphasis on personal development”, says Visagan Naidoo, Mindworx’s consulting business head.  

He also noted that measuring the success of the initiative is vital. In addition to delivering a project within precise guidelines, Mindworx has implemented effective systems to track metrics such as retention rates, career progression, employment rates, and participation satisfaction. “This data-driven approach enables us to continuously improve our offerings, meeting the evolving needs of both the participants and the industry,” Naidoo adds. 

Not only does a Mindworx Digital Pod de-risk a project, but clients can also benefit from building a pipeline of digital talent that can be retained at the end of the project at no additional recruitment cost to the client—currently, 90% of learners are employed full-time by the clients for whom a Pod was deployed, including large financial services and insurance brands.

Combined, Mindworx and the Mindworx Academy have placed almost 3,000 young people into first-time employment, with 60% hailing from rural areas. Together, these jobs have injected R500 million annually into the South African economy.

Naidoo concludes: “Mindworx is looking to train and place at least 5,000 learners and positively impact 25,000 lives by 2028 as it continues to forge a workforce ready to excel in the digital era.”

By cultivating a culture of excellence and continuous growth, the Digital Pods address South Africa’s need for digital talent and our youth unemployment crisis head-on, contributing to poverty reduction, economic growth, and social stability. 

This article was published in Ventureburn

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