Microsoft International president Jean-Philippe Courtois. (create2009.europa.eu)
The government will match Microsoft’s contribution to the fund, which expands on the software company’s 4Afrika Initiative.
Microsoft International president Jean-Philippe Courtois and the company’s South Africa managing director Mteto Nyati announced the investment at the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre, in Johannesburg, today.
Courtois said: “We cannot let an entire generation of young people become long-term unemployed.”
The Jobs Fund will place people on three year IT-related degrees and it hopes to have 75 per cent of participants in full time employment by the end of the programme.
Vodacom, Absa and Dimension Data are among the other partners who have signed up.
Nyati said: “South Africa is essentially a nation of young people and the high level of youth unemployment threatens the very stability of the country.”
Only the unemployed aged between 18 and 35 qualify and Microsoft wants 85 per cent of participants to be black.