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EDUCATION: T-Systems Re-launches ICT Academy


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As part of its commitment towards sustainable, inclusive transformation, skills development and nation building, T-Systems in South Africa has re-launched its flagship ICT Academy at larger, more central premises near Gandhi Square in Johannesburg. This not only enables easier access to students from a variety of public transport routes, it also permits a larger intake of learners, contributing further toward educational transformation.

Previously offered in conjunction with CIDA, the ICT Academy will now fall under the T-Systems Foundation, and is now part of T-Systems shareholding. This permits the ICT Academy to become a more independent entity and align its curriculum with real-world ICT needs and requirements.

“T-Systems in South Africa, in collaboration with other major ICT companies, founded the ICT Academy in 2003. The aim of the academy has always been to address the skills shortage in the ICT industry and make a positive difference in the lives of youth who would otherwise not have the opportunity to further their studies. The purpose of the ICT Academy is to create a pool of employable graduates with relevant ICT skills and competencies. This enables the youth to participate and contribute toward sustainable economic growth,” explains Adre Du Plessis, Vice President Strategy and Transformation at T-Systems in South Africa.

The Academy offers a variety of courses that are designed to provide students with employable skills. The curriculum at the ICT academy is made up of 70% theory in the form of facilitation-based technical training and 30% workplace practical experience, where learners are placed in companies to gain exposure.

Between 2003 and 2013 the ICT Academy produced a total of 1502 internationally certified IT graduates, with an average pass rate of 95%, and an overall employment rate of 85%. The average student intake per year increased from 96 to 130 in 2014. In 2015 T-Systems aims to increase this number to more than 200 students, with an increased focus on black female students and black students living with disabilities.

“Our new premises and larger ICT Academy will enable us to continue to further skills development, offering additional courses to greater numbers of students. The location of the new academy was carefully chosen for maximum accessibility for students using public transport as well as those with disabilities. We will also continue to invest in the upliftment of young women, furthering equality in a predominantly male environment,” Du Plessis adds.

The ICT Academy is managed and supported by active contribution from strategic business partners, offering students a first-rate education in computer technology as well as relevant international certifications. Through a combination of solid theoretical grounding, practical training and ICT qualifications that incorporate the latest technology, T-Systems is helping address the skills gap and develop a pool of employable graduates. The Academy also aims to actively contribute to poverty alleviation and reduce unemployment levels by enabling former students to return to their communities and impart their skills to others.

“ICT outsourcing at its heart is all about people, and one of the biggest challenges facing ICT companies in South Africa is a shortage of skilled professionals and specifically skilled professional women. Addressing this skills shortage is something we feel passionate about, and with the re-launched ICT Academy we are furthering our ability to create sustainable, effective transformation through ICT innovation,” Du Plessis concludes.

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