Intel Launches AI for Future Workforce Program in Northwest Province

Intel, in collaboration with ORBIT TVET College (Brits Campus) is launching the Intel Digital Readiness program, AI for Future Workforce, to contribute to educating the next generation of professionals on Artificial Intelligence (AI). This skillset, which will be used across a range of applications and industries in future job markets is one of the most in-demand in the employment market in today’s digital economy.

The AI for Future Workforce Program helps students gain critically-needed job skills in the booming field of AI — with courses on data collection, computer vision, AI model training, coding, the societal impacts, and ethics of AI technology, and more. Students who successfully complete the program will get a certificate of completion.

“AI is one of the technology superpowers driving growth, innovation, and job creation in every aspect of society” said Maurits Tichelman, Intel VP Sales and Marketing and General Manager EMEA Territory“It is an honour for Intel to be able to contribute to the development of artificial intelligence (AI) skills at Orbit College in the Northwest Province. This program is the first of its kind to be launched in South Africa and on the African continent, with Orbit College serving as a “beacon” for the country’s TVET institutions”.

The field of artificial intelligence is thriving. The need for AI skills among businesses is anticipated to increase substantially. The technology which underpins AI is advancing continuously, with new tools and applications developing rapidly, requiring workers to acquire new technical abilities. The impact of AI and its potential applications covers numerous industries, including high tech, healthcare, automotive, industrial, manufacturing, aviation, and even agriculture.

Intel and ORBIT TVET College Brits have unveiled the brand-new Intel AI laboratory alongside the launch of this program. It is designed not only to provide students enrolled in the program with the required infrastructure to complete this course, but also to innovate and push the boundaries of AI.

Intel believes AI technology should be shaped by people offering diverse voices and experiences, and this collaboration with ORBIT TVET College offers the potential to truly democratize AI technology.

Data indicate that the South African higher education system has a significant need for increased academic AI training and courses. A recent SafriCloud study of 985 South Africans operating in significant businesses, primarily in senior management to entry-level roles, revealed the following:

  • In South Africa, 51% of businesses do not have AI or machine learning (ML) in place.
  • More than 60% of respondents assessed the introduction of AI/ML within the next two years as moderately to extremely significant.
  • Low internal skill levels and the cost of third-party services were recognized by 54% as the greatest obstacles in their way.

These results demonstrate that despite the desire of South African businesses to use AI/ML technology, they are seriously affected by a major skills gap.

Although predictable in light of recent studies indicating that an estimated 80% of the population is untrained, this skills shortage has further delayed the capacity of businesses to advance as those few who possess the skills inflate pricing due to extreme demand.

Maurits Tichelman concludes, “In the future, we plan to expand the AI for Future Workforce program to other colleges in the Northwest and Mpumalanga provinces, and eventually the entire country, to begin training the next generation of future technologists and innovators, contributing to the president’s 4IRSA’s mandate.

How to Apply:

Prospective students will be able to apply online on the official website of the ORBIT TVET College. Before submitting an application, both new and returning students must complete the Online Placement Assessment.

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