IBM, the Isett Seta and partners including big banks and ICT companies are today graduating another class of new information technology professionals from the Tshwane University of Technology.
The class of 23 highly sought after IT professionals follows on the graduation last year of 53 techies who are now working productively across banks and ICT organisations. They are graduating with an IT Certificate with a key software competence, the IBM's WebSphere.
The group is graduating from the 18-month long, collaborative Information Technology Business Learnership initiative, which brings together a wide range of cross-industry players, the ICT training authority and academic institutions.
It responds directly to the national call for academic institutions to tailor their curricula to produce graduates who are ready to work in a real-life, professional environment. IBM will absorb four of the group, building on 19 of last year's group with the rest joining partner organisations such as Standard Bank, Nedbank, FNB, the South African Reserve Bank, BCX, KSS, GijimaAST, SAP and Perago.
"For IBM this investment demonstrates our company's contribution to the drive to develop priority technical skills, and boosts our talent pipeline while also benefiting the country's sustainable economic growth," says Mark Harris, GM of IBM sub-Saharan Africa.
"At the same time we are convinced that collaboration with partners in the private sector, government institutions and the academia is critical to ensuring that our education system produces the right skills needed for our country to become a major competitive player in the global economy."
This investment takes to R5-million the total investment that IBM has injected into the University Learnership programme which has produced 71 specialist IT professionals so far. It builds on other IBM skills development initiatives that include an internship programme with the Vaal University of Technology, specialist competency training in Mainframe, Intel, AIX, SAP, WebSphere and Dutch language.
From these initiatives, IBM has graduated in excess of 250 IT professionals over the last three years most of whom are working for the company or placed with business partners and client organisations. Some of these professionals are servicing global customers at IBM's Sandton-based Integrated Delivery Centre, which has created about 1500 jobs since its launch about two years ago.
These skills programmes are helping South Africa take advantage of the global integration trend, which sees IBM tapping into global competencies to deliver services where the right skills and infrastructure are found.