Aptronics committed to transforming the information communication technology (ICT) sectors through skills development
Aptronics has seen real value and results come out of its skills development and training partnership with HP Business Institute (HPBI). The company currently employs seven bright postgraduates from the HPBI Techie 201 programme – an initiative borne out of a need to develop and grow the pool of skills in the ICT sector.
Techie 201 is a 12-month MICT SETA accredited and Department of Labour registered programme, which was launched in 2009, and provides classroom training with the relevant practical work experience needed in a well-rounded, ICT professional. The successful candidates are recognised with a National Certificate in Information Technology Technical Support and Microsoft certification upon completion of the programme.
In addition to the seven full time employees, Aptronics are currently hosting a further 11 students in this year’s intake.
Keith Newnham, Service Manager at Aptronics, explains, “This is the second phase of the learnership: Techie 201. The 11 intakes in this year’s programme will be introduced to an IT Technical Support training course, which provides the foundation for the learners to become comfortable in IT101. Our role at Aptronics is to provide students with real world experience across a broad set of ITC disciplines and an opportunity to acquire HP certification associated with channel partner engineers. At the end of the curriculum, successful candidates will be equipped with a National Certificate in Information Technology: Systems Support (NQF Level 5, SAQA ID 45873) as well as vendor level accreditation. That is a powerful combination to help them on their career paths.”
Partners, who collaborate with HP, to host the learner in the Techie 201 program are required to: i) employ a candidate for a 12-month period under a fixed term contract, with an option of extending the contract should they so wish; ii) provide the candidate with the relevant practical workplace experience; and iii) coach, guide and mentor candidates for the duration of their employment. At Aptronics we take these responsibilities very seriously, encouraging students to make the best use of the opportunities that are presented as well as bridging the gap between student and employee.
As South Africa’s foremost black empowered IT solutions providers, Aptronics believes in the importance of initiatives of this nature and addressing the skills gap in the ICT industry. “There is a growing concern of the shortage of skilled IT professionals in South Africa, with studies placing the number at tens of thousands. Meanwhile, the demand for technology solutions and services is not slowing down,” said Newnham.
Said Anil (Appie) Pema, Aptronics chief executive officer, “We partnered with HP on this initiative because we believe education is the first step in transforming the current state of the ICT industry in our country.
We are proud of the students who have taken part in and completed the HPBI courses. We will continue to afford the same opportunities to upcoming learners, because our goal is to eventually bridge the skills shortage gap by equipping these youngsters with the skills and required know-how to become professional in the IT field.”