SAP and GijimaAst are to invest over R3,2-million to fund 40 learnerships in IT Business Leadership in 2008. 

SAP South Africa and GijimaAst will each contribute more than R1,6-million for 40 graduates to take the IT Business Leadership Programme through the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT). The programme is a registered learnership with the ISETT SETA, the sector’s training authority.
Completion of the 18-month programme will be recognised with a National Certificate and 180 credits toward a National Diploma. In addition, successful learners will receive SAP global certification. The programme includes an elective course, "SAP Technology for Public Sector". This certification will allow the successful leaders to become experts in SAP solutions with a special focus in the public sector.
Applications for the learnership open in September 2007, with the study programme commencing in January 2008. Successful applicants will stay at a TUT student residence for the duration of the programme.
"The GijimaAst and SAP initiative must be welcomed and we congratulate these organisations for their vision," says Fatima Habib, Chief of Shared Services for SITA. Any initiative that enhances the ICT skills of our youth must be wholly supported as it is these interventions that will further the cause of addressing the skills dearth in this sector," says Habib.
Says GijimaAst executive chairman Robert Gumede: "Our contribution to this programme is a major investment in developing valuable and enduring skills for South Africa’s ICT sector. As an industry we rely heavily on attracting and retaining staff with a high level of skill, and I am confident this initiative will make an important contribution to that effort.
"This programme will help our country in addressing the issue of scarce skills and create opportunities for previously disadvantaged individuals, some of whom will be employed by GijimaAst and SAP," he says.
SAP South Africa MD Claas Kuehnemann says the business software leader’s contribution to the programme is driven in large part by the need to develop advanced IT skills that can be deployed quickly in a wide variety of organisations.
"We recognise this as a national imperative flowing out of the ASGISA programme. In addition, our customers in the public sector have expressed very clearly their challenges in attracting and retaining the advanced skills needed to implement and manage new systems that underpin delivery of services to the public. We at SAP believe that helping to grow these skills locally will bear fruit over many years and thank our partner GijimaAst for co-investing with SAP in this important initiative," says Kuehnemann.