Programme covers theory and practice

Tebogo Monama

Tebogo Monama

Information and communication technology company GijimaAst has invested more than R1million in a programme to develop the information technology skills of 15 students.

The Information Technology Business Learnership Programme provides successful candidates with a national certificate in information technology at the end of the 18-month programme.

Five students from last year's intake are currently undergoing their six-month practical training at GijimaAst.

Another 10 students are busy with the one-year theoretical training at the Tshwane University of Technology.

Phillip Pitse, skills and learning facilitator at GijimaAst, said: "The programme is implemented over 18 months, of which one year is spent in the classroom gaining the theoretical knowledge.

The subsequent six months is spent working at GijimaAst under the guidance of mentors and coaches.

The workplace environment allows students to gain immediate practical experience to enhance their theoretical knowledge.

"As a hosting company, GijimaAst has invested more than R1million to develop the skills of the students, provide for accommodation during their studies, give them monthly allowances, as well as the providing each with a PC."

The programme is aimed at delivering skilled black talent to the under-staffed information technology sector.

It aims to play a meaningful role in addressing the shortage of black IT skills in South Africa.

GijimaAst invests heavily in IT education and mentoring because this is seen as a critical component of the company's succession planning, not only for the company, but for the industry as a whole.

Pitse said: "At the end of the training and successful completion of their studies, we place the students in permanent positions within GijimaAst.

"We are careful to ensure any people we take on are assured of gainful employment afterwards.

"There is no point in taking on a person only to put them back out on the street with skills, but no job."