Safaricom

How Safaricom is helping transition employees whose skills are being automated

Job loss due to automation is a 21st century reality that most people have to cope with. Many skills have been rendered obsolete as machines take over work that used to be done by humans.

While companies work towards reducing costs and using machine and Artificial Intelligence, employees are either forced to quit or acquire new skills. Kenyan mobile phone giant Safaricom has come up with a way to retrain its employees acquire such sets of skills for new careers.

In a statement, Safaricom said it established The Digital Academy early 2019 to cater to ’employees working in the technology careers that are becoming automated as computers gain more capabilities and take on more roles’. Below is part of the statement:

‘In the first phase that began early this year, Safaricom has already fully trained 60 of its staff and placed them in new roles. An industry first, the initiative is also helping the company bridge a shortage of talent as it seeks to bridge a customer shift to increasingly digital lifestyles.

This digital transformation has been behind the growth of demand for data scientists, data analysts, and new-age programming experts amongst other roles.

“Safaricom operates in a fast paced environment where technology is ever changing. Recent advances have automated sections of our network meaning that certain careers will soon no longer be necessary. At the same time, these changes are driving demand for new skills where there is a shortage of talent in the market. The Digital Academy is a human resource innovation that has enabled us to both empower our staff with new skills and to have the right mix of talent based on our customer needs,” said Michael Joseph, CEO, Safaricom.

The Digital Academy offered a six month full-time course in five programs including Technology Automation, Cloud Computing, Cyber Security, Data Science, Emerging Network Technologies and Mobile Application Development.

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The first three months of the course were classroom-based with the last three months seeing the employees practically applying their new skills in developing new workplace innovations.

Among the tools that the employees have developed during the training is a Data Revenue Analysis and Prediction Tool, and a Home Fibre Customer Satisfaction Analysis Solution.

All 60 employees remained under employment for the duration of the program with Safaricom also fully footing the costs of the training. Following the success of the first phase of the program, the company plans to partner with both local and global players to roll out the Digital Academy to more of its staff in coming months.

Besides the academy, Safaricom has also deployed a digital learning platform that will provide on-the-job training in more than 10,000 courses to its entire staff.’

Feature photo: Safaricom representative receives Best Employer Award

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