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Internship programme drives skills development

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Oracle South Africa recently celebrated the graduation of students enrolled in the company’s internship programme, who have now moved on to find employment within the South African ICT market.

Oracle recently celebrated the graduation of students enrolled in the Oracle Internship Programme with a gala evening dubbed ‘African Celebration’ that took place at Emperor’s Palace in Gauteng on the evening of 26 June 2007. 120 students graduated from the most recent term of Oracle’s Internship Programme and are now going on to exciting careers in ICT, either with Oracle and the company’s many partners – or in the broader sector in South Africa. Oracle is very proud of the skills injection this provides to the local economy.
The Oracle Internship Programme was launched in 2004 in collaboration with the Information Systems, Electronics and Telecommunications Technologies Sector Education and Training Authority (Isett SETA). The initiative focuses on graduate students, providing them with an eight month long programme aimed at equipping these individuals for work in the ICT industry and general workplace competencies that will aid them in their future careers.
“The programme is aligned to the deputy president’s initiatives around priority skills,” says Dan Ellappa, Country Manager for the Oracle University. The honorable deputy president, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka attended the event and delivered an address as part of the evening’s proceedings.
Speaking at the event, Mlambo-Ngcuka said, "Since we launched the Joint Initiative on Priority Skills Acquisition in March 2006, our goal has been to take skills to a revolutionary level. We remain united as a nation to pursuing this goal.
“I am proud that young people are primary beneficiaries of initiatives by companies like Oracle,” she adds. “It feels like it was just yesterday when Oracle made the offer to take our young people on board. Now look at you and your achievements! You now have an opportunity  to develop your skills, which very few possess in our country. You join a privileged class of individuals with very scarce skills in the ICT industry. Your career prospects are increased immeasurably."
The deputy president also handed over a certificate to Oracle South Africa’s managing director, Nicky Sheridan, thanking the company for “being part of the skills development”.
Other activities on the night included addresses by Oupa Mopaki, CEO of Isett SETA, Dan Ellappa and Nicky Sheridan. There were also performances by the COSA String Quartet, the Ponelopele Oracle Secondary School Choir, Lemon ‘n Limelight Jazz Band and Opera a la Carte.
“Tables were booked by Oracle business partners and other guests and the money raised from the event was handed over to charity,” says Wendy Beetge, Head of Transformation for Oracle South Africa. Proceeds raised amounted to R140 000, which were handed over to the Hlalanati Sewing Organisation in Kwazulu Natal, on the night. This organisation empowers women in rural areas to start their own businesses.
“We now look ahead to our next intake of students for the Internship Programme,” says Ellappa. “Oracle is able to accommodate 200 individuals in the next intake and is considering various avenues for partnerships in this regard. The company is focused on building skills in the areas of the economy where there are currently gaps. We are aiming to develop individuals to go out into the market, not just with technology skills, but also with the fundamentals required for a successful career.”
He adds that almost all graduates have now found employment at Oracle itself, or with the company’s partners and customers. The graduates have also been equipped with vital skills that will greatly contribute to the local industry.