The tech firm’s world-class online training, delivered anywhere and anytime, is providing leapfrog technology to approximately one million Africans in the next three years through Interplay Africa. Its future goal is to train an additional five million people on the continent.
Austin, TX – April 4, 2022 – Interplay Learning, the leading global provider of online and VR training for the essential skilled trades, announced today that it is creating better economic conditions for individuals and closing the skilled trades gap for businesses in Africa. Interplay’s unique, highly effective online 3D and virtual reality simulations for the HVAC, plumbing, electrical, solar and facilities maintenance workforces will rapidly prepare one million South Africans for careers in the skilled trades by 2025. An additional five million people on the continent will be trained in the future.
Interplay Africa will roll out online training programs in communities across South Africa, starting in Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth), Cape Town, and Johannesburg. Gqeberha is situated in South Africa’s second-largest metropolitan district by area size, and it was selected because its business chamber is composed of more than 2,100 companies and many require skilled workers.
Interplay is partnering with the South African non-profit urban planning consultancy Ranyaka Community Transformation with the intention to implement the training in communities across South Africa. Ranyaka has a national footprint in 21 communities in 7 provinces across the country and is also the implementation agent of the Nedbank Proud of my Town initiative that pursues holistic, sustainable community transformation.
Ranyaka works hand-in-hand with residents, civil society entities, faith-based institutions, businesses, all levels of government, academic institutions, and local change agents to co-create places where all people can prosper. Interplay, in partnership with Ranyaka, plans to offer companies upskilling for existing employees and will also notify unemployed skilled workers about the training program through various local channels.
Africa has long experienced a shortage of skilled trades workers, and South Africa presently faces a 34.4% rate of youth unemployment, while 60% of all unemployed have never worked a day due to a lack of skills and no job availability. Interplay Africa’s online and VR technology is changing this by democratizing skilled trades training within Africa’s cities and suburbs, including some remote areas where bringing in equipment for hands-on learning isn’t possible. Learners will practice on-demand, hands-on skills through Interplay’s platform that enables them to be job-ready in weeks, not years.
“Interplay Africa allows us to approach the unemployed and give them a glimpse of a different future, accomplishing what was previously impossible due to lack of technology,” said Johan Olivier, CEO and Co-Founder of Ranyaka. “It is accelerating the skills development process by providing a higher level of digital exposure and technological advancement. Interplay Africa is re-imagining career training for the next generation, and this is substantially increasing the speed of training and heightening the competency level of skilled workers.”
“Interplay Africa is a beacon of light that is positively changing lives, making communities better places to live, and improving the economy,” said Doug Donovan, Founder and CEO of Interplay Learning. “We have brought our strong instructional design and technology for accelerated learning to South Africa and soon the entire continent of Africa. With an affordable virtual reality headset coupled with our software, we are delivering a world-class training center into any community, and that’s only possible with this leapfrog technology. While VR is the centerpiece, it is amplified by our online training modules that are accessible, highly relevant and feature jobs that are in every single community. Interplay’s foundational learning opens up limitless possibilities for users in Africa, while our ability to make tech training affordable and available to all democratizes it. There’s no ceiling for these career paths.”
About Interplay Learning
Since 2016, Austin-based Interplay Learning has been building better training, better careers and better lives for its customers and their employees. Its award-winning online and VR training for the essential skilled trades, including HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical, Solar, Multi-Family Maintenance and Facilities Maintenance workforces, is scalable and more effective than traditional training methods. By leveraging immersive learning technology, Interplay’s customers are able to train and practice hands-on learning from a desktop, phone, tablet or in virtual reality. The result is a highly trained employee who is job-ready in weeks, not years. Its digital experiential learning platform, SkillMill, conveniently turns any space into a training lab with its short video courses, 3D simulations, knowledge checks, coaching, community, and connectivity. Recent accolades include recognition by Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas Awards in the Education, General Excellence and On the Rise categories. Welcome to the next generation of the skilled labor workforce. Visit https://www.interplaylearning.com/ to learn more.