Nerd Academy, a free digital skills training programme in South Africa, is offering nerds for hire at $10 per hour for any basic digital job. Nerds Academy says it is doing this to help address the high rate of unemployment among South African youth.

The nerds that are available for hire can be contracted on an hourly basis for digital jobs including admin tasks, sales and marketing support, customer service, LinkedIN outreach, video editing, data entry, manning chatrooms, call centre work and any virtual assistant tasks.

“The community [Somerset West] has very little hope of finding employment and the Nerd Academy, as a free digital skills training programme for unemployed people within the community, teaches people how to create a good profile in online marketplaces, how to pitch for business, and also work on data entry and other admin tasks,” said Priscilla Kennedy, CEO of Pieholetv.com.

The Nerd Academy programme was launched by Piehole.tv, an animated video production company together with ProcurementExpress.com, a purchasing software company.

Unemployment and poverty in South Africa

According to Statistics South Africa, the country's unemployment rate is at 26,7% as of Q1 2018. Youth unemployment on the other hand is much higher than this.

Unemployment in South Africa. Statistics South Africa

Given the levels of unemployment in South Africa, the Nerd Academy has said that part of its goal is to do its part towards eradicating poverty, address digital inclusion and overall skills development. Also, their workers are available for hire by any organization in the world as the tasks can be performed remotely.

Located in in Somerset East, South Africa, the Nerd Academy was launched in 2018. The initiative sounds a lot like fiverr although a differentiator is that it also provides free digital skills training to the people it finds work for, somewhat similar to what Andela and Gebeya do for software developers.