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SAS takes skills shortage seriously

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As part of its plan to develop sustainable skills to address the shortage in the IT industry, SAS Institute South Africa has taken on SAS interns, who will make their way through an extensive and in-depth two-year programme and come out of the other side as certified SAS consultants.

In association with People Integrate, a coaching and mentoring organisation, SAS has been taking each of the interns through an intensive two-year programme. People Integrate provides the soft skills for the interns, such as communications and presentation skills, while SAS is teaching the interns technical skills through training centres and practical programmes. Each of the interns has been assigned to a mentor at SAS, who supports and keeps them motivated during the programme.
“There is currently a serious shortage of skilled individuals within the IT space, and with the need for technology continuing to grow, people with the necessary training will only become scarcer,” says Bruce Bond-Myatt, delivery manager at SAS, who initiated the programme. “The internship initiative not only gives previously disadvantaged individuals a stepping stone into SAS consultancy, it will also help us to build capacity to meet the growing demand for consultants in the field.”
Says William Chittock, principle consultant at SAS, who is responsible for the mentoring and internship programme: “We have had nothing but positive feedback about our interns from tasks they have worked on in the field, and they have already made a valuable contribution on several projects. As they near the end of the programme they will be given more and more practical exposure.”
The interns are now almost three-quarters of the way through the programme, and each has written and passed the SAS Base Certification exam on the first attempt.
“This is a remarkable achievement, and we are proud of everyone for the time and effort they have put in. Currently the interns are studying towards the Advanced Certification, and are working hard towards gaining this prestigious qualification,” Chittock adds.