Tuesday, 29 January 2013
The dearth of IT skills has been a cause of concern for many industries in South Africa. According to ITWeb-JCSE Skills Survey, two-thirds (66%) of companies from a wide range of industries are severely impacted by a shortage of ICT skills. Moreover, IT spend is expected to rise by at least 9.9% this year, leading to an even greater demand for skilled professionals in this area.
These concerns formed part the motivation for AIGS, the sub Saharan distributor for Progress Software, to combat the skills shortage through an innovative internship programme that will educate, train and employ young South Africans within the local Progress community.
“We formed the programme with the assistance of Progress International and of course, the AIGS-Progress partners in South Africa,” explains Premie Naicker, COO of AIGS. “It’s a good example of an initiative that works to improve a problem that ultimately influences both public and private sectors.”
The initiative assists young Matric or tertiary level candidates with training and eventual placement in various software companies specialising in the development, deployment and management of business applications using Progress Software. Globally, Progress Software is used in more than 400 000 businesses in 140 countries and places special focus on the so-called “nexus of forces”, namely multi-tenancy, cloud, mobility and business analytics.
“We are looking for candidates that have graduated Matric with a final Maths and Science score of between 60-66%,” says Lizzy Netshikweta, currently managing the initiative for AIGS. “Tertiary students may also apply. Candidates will be shortlisted and then enter a testing phase to determine eligibility.”
The programme will initially only be open to students in Gauteng, but with plans of expanding into other areas of the country as well.
“It is a great opportunity for young South Africans who can’t afford to attend college or university, or who are struggling to find work, to not only receive free training, but a reasonable starting salary and guaranteed placement in a very niche market,” Naicker explains. “They will receive hands-on training in the ABL programming language, which is very easy to work with and always in demand.”