As South Africa celebrates youth month, Lewis Stores (Pty) Ltd, a leading organisation in the country’s retail industry, is celebrating its successful partnership with redAcademy, an experiential learning hub specialising in coding and technology skills for local youth. Lewis Stores, together with redAcademy is empowering next generation developers through supporting and uplifting young people who may not have the opportunity to study in formal tertiary education. Beyond that, it sees the strategic value for the country in fast-tracking young people onto the career ladder.
Based in Cape Town, Africa’s tech capital, redAcademy is hosted by redPanda Software, an enterprise software developer and technology partner of Lewis Stores (Pty) Ltd.
As part of the partnership for the one-year Career Sprint, candidates – known as Sprinters – spent a six-month period engaging with software project development and delivering real-world tech solutions for the Lewis group as a whole. By developing solutions based on the organisation’s operational process and with their IT needs in mind, Sprinters have acquired invaluable knowledge and skills that have prepared them to enter into a career in the tech industry.
“By investing in programs like redAcademy’s Career Sprint, we have not only provided these young individuals with valuable knowledge, skills and real-world experience from working on our tech solutions, but we have made a meaningful difference in their lives,” said Arno Geldenhuys, Head of Information Technology for Lewis Stores (Pty) Ltd. “This successful initiative aligns perfectly with the spirit of youth month, which celebrates the potential and achievements of the younger generation.” According to Waleed Achmat, HR Director for Lewis, this initiative supports the Lewis vision of developing and upskilling youth to become future leaders for the country.
On 31 May 2023, redAcademy celebrated the successful graduation of its first cohort of Sprinters as Junior Software Developers, all with permanent roles within a software development organisation. Jessica Hawkey, Managing Director of redAcademy, expressed her gratitude to Lewis Stores (Pty) Ltd for their visionary leadership and steadfast commitment to investing in the future talent of South Africa. She also acknowledged the invaluable contribution of redPanda Software, for hosting the academy and providing ongoing mentorship to the Sprinters.
“Lewis Stores (Pty) Ltd’s partnership with redAcademy goes beyond mere collaboration; it is a testament to their shared mission of empowering South Africa’s youth and transforming the country’s tech landscape,” said Hawkey.