25 November 2010
In a boost for skills development in South Africa’s telecommunications sector, converged telecoms operator Neotel has announced the graduation of 24 students from its Telecommunications Academy in Midrand north of Johannesburg.
The graduates received a Certificate in IT Systems Support that is accredited by the Information Systems, Electronics and Telecommunications Technologies Sector Education and Training Authority (ISETT Seta), is approved by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), and comprises both theoretical and practical components.
To enter the programme, learners are required to have completed formal studies in basic electronic engineering at levels S4 or N6.
“The philosophy of the Academy is to empower learners through applied knowledge, so that they are able to perform and become productive immediately when entering the workplace,” Neotel CEO Ajay Pandey said in a statement last week.
Bridging the skills gap
In recognition of the shortage of telecoms skills in South Africa, and to bridge the gap that exists between the skills types that are needed and what is available, Neotel launched a pilot training programme involving 10 youngsters in 2008.
Following the success of the pilot project, a full-time Telecommunications Academy was launched in March 2008.
To date, 67 students have graduated from the programme, of whom 57 are currently employed by Neotel and the remaining 10 are employed elsewhere in the industry or furthering their studies. The current group are the third batch to graduate from the academy.
Academy expansion plans
Neotel’s expansion plans for the academy include the introduction of an Entrepreneurial Skills Programme for learners and entrepreneurs who don’t necessarily want to enter the corporate world but require further training.
“Our aim is to develop telecommunications professionals who are technically competent and armed with the requisite business management skills to contribute to the growth of the sector,” said Pandey.
“As a sustainable and growing initiative, we are confident that the Neotel Academy will make a meaningful contribution towards accelerating access to new technologies as well as positioning Neotel as a preferred employer.”
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