In response to government's numerous calls for an increase in the quality and quantity of local ICT skills, Oracle is laying the foundation for the School of Technology Leadership and is inviting other technology and communications stakeholders to participate.

“The ICT sector plays a vital role in providing innovation leadership, ” said Sergio Giacoletto, Executive Vice President, Oracle Europe, Middle East and Africa. “Developing the IT knowledge of students will increase the competitiveness of the South African economy and accelerate social development.  Technology is not only one of the key drivers of economic growth, it can have a transformational effect in helping build a dynamic forward-thinking society.”
Oracle has had a long-term commitment to education, and in South Africa the management team has initiated many programs to develop IT skills including training for customers and partners; a successful IT graduate program; and various social investment initiatives such as the e-Schools project in collaboration with partners, and supporting the RAU Oracle Saturday School project for developing maths skills in Soweto’s secondary schools. In February 2007, in liaison with the Gauteng Department of Education, Oracle officially opened the Ponelopele Oracle Secondary School in Midrand, near Johannesburg which serves 1 300 learners and has 38 staff and 24 classrooms.
The School of Technology Leadership to be opened in 2008, will be run as an independent institution offering essential training disciplines relevant in the changing world of technology to both secondary and tertiary education graduates.  “Establishing an empowered training institute that incorporates a range of industry certifications to ensure that ICT sector skills demands are holistically catered for will bring enormous benefits both to the students of South Africa and to their future employers who need IT skills to expand their businesses,” explains Giacoletto
This initiative will also provide Black Economic Empowerment opportunities for investors and focus on the development of black ICT skills through an internship programme.
Nicky Sheridan, vice-president and MD of Oracle South Africa, emphasises that the School of Technology Leadership is complementary to the current offerings from other professional educational institutions and seeks to fill the gaps that currently exist locally. As such, the Leadership School aims to establish leaders and entrepreneurs within the ICT industry by addressing higher level skills development.
“Oracle has established this institution to help address the shortage of ICT skills in South Africa. While Oracle is currently leading this initiative we look forward to the participation of our industry peers and welcome their contributions in making this School a showcase ICT educational institution of excellence,” Sheridan adds.