19 September 2022
Absa Group, one of Africa's largest financial service providers, in partnership with Maharishi Invincibility Institute, is pleased to announce that its first cohort of 20 students has graduated from the Absa Cybersecurity Academy.
The full academic curriculum at the academy spans over three years. Each year includes formal technical learning, practical and experiential learning, as well as intensive, customised personal mastery and soft skills.
As part of Absa's commitment to being an active force for good in the communities where we serve, the Academy in partnership with the Maharishi Invincibility Institute was launched in 2019 to address the global skills shortage at a local level through a world-class, innovative and fully immersed educational experience.
Ina Steyn, Head of Security Education and Awareness, Absa Converged Security Office says, “The graduation of the students is a step towards bridging the scarce skills gap in the South African cybersecurity field, it is also a reflection of the growth of equal education and upskilling opportunities for young women in the technology sector. As the country transitions to a more digitally empowered economy, we hope that each of the graduates will leverage their skills in innovative ways while empowering their communities."
Based in Johannesburg and Cape Town, the academy fosters conscious-based learning, not only focusing on technical awareness and education, but also creating social awareness of cyber threats that exist not only in the formal and public sectors, but also in the informal and private sectors.
“As an Institution, we are constantly working on developing more sustainable ways to help unemployed youth in South Africa gain access to transferable skills through education, training, and jobs. To empower young people, partnerships such as the one we have with Absa are key. Furthermore, graduates of Absa's Cybersecurity Academy represent unlimited opportunities and potential,” explains Taddy Blecher, CEO and Co-founder of the Maharishi Invincibility Institute.
The students that completed their qualification also received internship letters to start their cyber career at Absa on 1 October 2022. With the high unemployment rate in the country, a projected global cyber security skills gap is estimated to be 2.72 million according to the Fortinet 2022 Cybersecurity Skills Gap report.
Wilhelm Krige, Interim Group Chief Information and Technology office at Absa Group said, “The Absa Cybersecurity Academy aligns with our firm commitment to be an active force for good in the communities where we serve. We also understand that our country’s economic well-being depends on education. It is the foundation for economic efficiency and social cohesion, and through initiatives such as this, Absa has the ability to introduce and invest in industry-led initiatives that not only promote cybersecurity careers but also empower young people from diverse backgrounds.”
A career in cybersecurity will provide the graduates with high in demand skills and an opportunity to work in multiple industries. In line with Absa’s strategy to be an active force for good in the communities where we serve, the Absa Cybersecurity Academy aims to continue developing a strong cybersecurity resource pool and capabilities within South Africa”, concludes Manoj Puri, Group Chief Security Officer at Absa Group.