ICT Academy Re-launch affirms T-Systems’ Sustainability Commitment in South Africa

By Skills Junction

T-Systems has reaffirmed its commitment to sustainability, inclusive transformation, skills development and CSR through the re-launch of its flagship ICT academy near Gandhi Square in Johannesburg.

The new premises have been set up to enable easier access to students from a variety of public transport routes, while also permitting a larger intake of learners to promote the educational transformation even further moving forward.

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,” explained Adre Du Plesss, Vice President Strategy & Transformation at T-Systems in South Africa. “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.” 

The curriculum at the ICT academy is made up of 70 percent theory in the form of facilitation-based technical training and 30 percent workplace practical experience, where learners are placed in companies to gain exposure.

Between 2003 and 2013 the ICT Academy produced a total of 1,502 internationally certified IT graduates, with an average pass rate of 95 percent, and an overall employment rate of 85 percent.

In turn, the average student intake has also risen from 96 to 130 in 2014 and the forecast for 2015 is for the number to rise above 200, based on an increased focus on black female students and black students 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,” Du Plessis added. “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 concluded: “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.”

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