Software and solutions company DVT has launched a new Learnership Programme as part of the company’s continued efforts to nurture business and software development skills, particularly in South Africa’s previously disadvantaged communities.
The new programme is similar to DVT’s existing Internship Programme, except that it’s open to school leavers with a passion for business and IT that are unable to pursue a career in these fields because of financial constraints.
“One of our biggest and most important challenges in South Africa is reversing the high unemployment rate, particularly among the youth and disempowered,” says DVT CEO Jaco van der Merwe.
“As an industry we feel the skills shortage more than most, which is why we started the now successful and thriving Internship Programme a few years ago. This new programme is a first for us, with the demographic we’re targeting, and is a great opportunity for school leavers to pursue their dream of a career in one of the fastest growing global industries.”
Partly funded by MICT SETA with support from Torque IT and MSC Business College, DVT’s Learnership Programme comprises two streams – systems development and bookkeeping – running over a 12-month period in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Learners attain NQF Level 5 certification on successful completion of the course, with DVT hoping to increase this to a Level 6 Diploma for the 2016-17 Programme.
“It’s not a given that all the learners will finish the programme – it’s up to the individuals to show that they have the right attitude and aptitude having been given this unique opportunity,” says Prudence Mabitsela, BBBEE, EE and SD Specialist at DVT.
“They can expect a structured learning process for gaining theoretical knowledge and practical skills in the workplace, with access to the best mentors in the company and hands-on experience with our clients throughout the process,” she says. “NQF recognition is the prize, but the real reward is the exposure they get and the contacts they make which open the door to a rewarding career.”
Van der Merwe says the programme ties in with the other initiatives that advance DVT’s commitment to building communities through training while embracing BBBEE codes and empowerment initiatives as part of the company’s social responsibility philosophy.
“From our earliest days we’ve been invested in developing the youth of this country,” he says. “There’s so much latent talent at our doorstep but it’s not always easy to find and nurture, especially given the odds so many learners need to overcome just to make the grade.
“If there’s any advice I can offer it’s this: have a clear picture in your mind and visualise where you want to be. Also work hard and don’t be afraid to ask for help. You’re entering a field where things change and change often, so look to this as a stepping stone because you’ll never stop learning.”
There are currently 28 learners enrolled in the inaugural DVT Learnership Programme.