The ICT Academy was established by T-Systems South Africa (TSSA) in 2003 to address the ICT skills shortage and to make a positive difference in the lives of young individuals without any opportunities to take their studies further. The ICT Academy is going from strength-to-strength and it is constantly upgrading to keep abreast of changes in the ICT industry. The curriculum is designed to enable learners to get a qualification and international certification in their first year of study. The courses include ICDL, CompTIA A+ and N+, Cisco, Microsoft Server administration and development, SAP and very soon, ICT security.
Since it was launched in 2003, more than 2000 graduates have obtained their qualifications at the ICT Academy with pass and employment rates of +/- 85%. In a predominantly male business environment, more young women are now being empowered by this opportunity to gain a qualification in ICT. Based on this success, the ICT Academy is in the process of establishing a Security Academy that forms part of the bigger aim of commercialization. This will kick-start a self-funding model that will enable the ICT Academy to expand and take in more students and facilitate more study opportunities for young people.
The Hazyview Digital Learning Centre in rural Hazyview was established in 2012 by the Good Work Foundation (GWF) and T-Systems South Africa After having identified the challenges of learning in rural communities, the Open Learning Academy offers a continuous program that supports rural learners from Grade 4 onwards. The Bridging Academy creates an access bridge between school and work or further education and training, and prepares rural school leavers for life in modern business environments. Bridging Academy graduates are recruited into the advanced Career Training Academies and programs that respond to the needs of the community where the campus is located. Examples include tourism and travel, conservation and wildlife monitoring, ICT infrastructure, ICT classroom integration, and media studies.
A story of ROI and business impact that can proudly be told by TSSA is how the relationship between the Hazyview Digital Learning Centre (HDLC) and TSSA has grown from enterprise support and funding, to being IT partners in the HDLC Service Desk. In 2016, the HDLC, in partnership with TSSA, established a Service Desk on the Hazyview campus as an extension of the HDLC ICT Academy. The Academy provides advanced IT infrastructure training accredited by CompTIA. The subsequent qualification gives young people the opportunity to qualify and function as entry-level IT support engineers. This pool of skilled human capital is then utilized by T-Systems in the provision of services by the IT Service Desk in order to create jobs and retain intellectual property and skills in the rural district of Hazyview. The success of this venture has led to the idea of an internship that will flow from the HDLC academy. Kate Groch is the architect and she will roll out the internship when the design work has been completed.
The Internship Program is the next building block in this life-cycle of job creation. T Systems established an internal Internship Program in 2006 to assist graduates with work experience. The Internship Program is a 1-year structured program comprising 95% practical training complimented by mentoring, life skills, and technical training. Interns are sourced from local institutions while the ICT Academy also provides many talented interns. TSSA employs more than 70% of the interns internally while many more are employed in the local ICT Industry. Since 2016, TSSA introduced graduate interns as an extension of the Internship Program. This one-year contract gives 30 interns the opportunity to gain more work experience.
Our interns are deployed in the various business units such as HR, Finance, Service Desk, Marketing, Delivery, and the Office of the MD. They are allocated a mentor who then provides training to enable them to work as part of the team. These interns are fully operational in the roles allocated to them. They answer calls from customers on the Service Desk, carry out financial reporting, budgeting, and forecasting, perform interviews, HR administration, repair computer equipment and solve technical issues, manage customer events, and so much more. They have integrated so well into the organization that TSSA decided to introduce the graduate internship in order to provide employment to the interns for another year and also because of the value that they add to the business.
The In the Zone Leadership Development Program is a signature leadership development program specifically developed for TSSA in conjunction with GIBS. The aim of the program is to develop employees’ leadership competencies and organizational capabilities so as to achieve our vision. We shape the future of a connected business world and society by creating value added for our customers, employees, and communities through innovative ICT solutions in South Africa. The program not only focusses on growth for the company, but also on personal growth for each employee attending. At least 50% of the employees taking part are women. The program is aligned with the T-Systems International (TSI) leadership agenda.