The importance of ICT learnerships, particularly in South Africa is huge, however relatively little is known about what a learnership is, which companies offer learnerships and how to apply. The question is why isn’t there enough information regarding learnerships?
A Learnership “is a vocational education and training programme to facilitate the linkage between structured learning and work experience to obtain a registered qualification. It combines theory and workplace practice into a qualification that is registered on the National Qualifications Framework” says Sean (2020).
The South African ICT industry has acknowledged a shortage of skills and the need for young emerging talent. ICT organisations have over the years supported learnership programmes, realising that they needed to invest and grow skill sets. They are looking for a skilled workforce to deliver exemplary service to their clients (Davies & Farquharson, 2004) The problem we face is that the ICT skills gap in South Africa is increasing (Kirlidog, van der Vyver, Zeeman & Coetzee, 2018).
The aim of a learnership is to create a platform for job creation using skills development initiatives. Through the implementation of IT learnerships over the years, within multiple organisations, it has been proven that this is an effective way to properly train individuals to become market ready and be absorbed within the market.
Many organizations in the ICT industry such as Geek4Learning are working to equip the youth with the correct skills and knowledge, through the implementation of their learnership programs. They are doing this to fulfil the aim of creating job-ready individuals that match the industry leaders’ job requirements which will bridge the gap between supply and demand for skilled individuals within the ICT industry.
The ICT industry is a service-oriented environment and is highly reliant on a skilled and motivated workforce to deliver efficient service. IT leaders have realised that they need to partner with registered training providers to be able to offer stimulating and meaningful work environments that attract and sustain talented individuals.
Therefore, Geeks4Learning has partnered with subject matter experts (SMEs) to provide relevant industry training and mentorship to their learners to ensure that this aim is met. This is partly how the learners gain the necessary knowledge and skill sets needed to become job ready.
One of the SMEs that Geeks4Learning has partnered with within the software testing field is Wayne Sinclair. He consults on delivering training, training material development, and mentoring learners in the software testing field. Wayne is a Technical Trainer in the QA space and is an experienced QA professional.
His experience includes proven technical training, team leadership, mentoring, coaching, and consulting experience across different clients and projects. He has proven project delivery experience and can perform tasks at various levels ranging from hands-on to some strategic roles in IT.
SMEs provide learners with an opportunity to gain experience from individuals who have worked within the market, this assists learners with gaining the necessary knowledge to complete the workplace component of the learnership programme.
Wayne believes that there is a shortage of qualified people in our country. The universities and colleges play their part, but often they are not focused in their training, they are more generic, and not focused on the specific industry needs. A learnership is more focused. It usually concentrates on a specific field of work where there is an industry need.
But how does one get into the ICT industry? Wayne ventured into ICT by accident. He initially wanted to do pharmaceuticals, but the only university that he could attend at that time was 1,500 kilometres away from home. Since he could not go into that industry, he looked at his local university for courses he could take and in turn found the ICT offering instead.
He zoomed in on the ICT offering at the university and decided to apply for it. The plan was to start with ICT, and quietly drop it at the right time, then move on to pharmaceuticals and the lecturers and staff were willing to accommodate him. However, he loved the ICT course so much that he completed it, and the rest, as they say, is history. This proves that the interest in ICT or the gateway into it has multiple possibilities…
What we can appreciate about Geeks4Learning is that it takes things to the next level. They provide learners with industry experts, who are genuinely committed to breaking the barriers to educational and professional opportunities for the young people of South Africa, by equipping them with industry-relevant skills and providing a fully well-rounded program that provides them with the practical skills needed to become work ready.
Wayne says that ICT learnerships help improve individuals as they equip them with the right skills so that they can contribute to the ICT industry in a meaningful way. Therefore, a learnership is the perfect career starter for an individual looking for career opportunities within the ICT industry.
For those looking to pursue a career in IT, Wayne advises that it is hard work, but rewarding and satisfying. If you feel that you have an interest in IT and would like to start your journey towards a career in IT. You can apply for a learnership at Geeks4Learning.
To apply for one of our learnership opportunities, send your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org and get ready to kick-start your IT career!