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Issue Date: April 2007

GijimaAst invests over R1 million in IT Learnership program

26 April 2007

GijimaAst has invested over R1 million in skills development for 15 learners in the ISETT SETA Information Technology Business Learnership Programme (ITBLP) which provides successful candidates with a National Certificate in Information Technology NQF Level 5 at the end of the 18-month program.
Five learners from the 2006 intake are currently busy with their six-month practical training at GijimaAst and another 10 learners are currently busy with the one-year theoretical training at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT). “The program is implemented over an 18-month period of which one-year is spent in the classroom environment gaining the theoretical knowledge and the subsequent six months is spent in the employ of GijimaAst under the guidance of mentors and coaches. The workplace experience allows students to gain immediate practical experience to enhance their theoretical knowledge,” says Phillip Pitse, skills and learning facilitator at GijimaAst.
“As a hosting company, GijimaAst has invested well over R1 million to develop the skills of the learners, provide for accommodation  during their studies, monthly allowances as well as provision of each learner with a PC so that they can continue their studies in their free time. Although TUT does provide for PC labs, we believe having access to a computer in their residence is an added benefit to the successful completion of their studies,” says Phillip.
The fully endorsed program which is supported and jointly funded with the ISETT SETA provides students with theoretical knowledge and invaluable practical working experience. The ITBLP program is aimed at delivering skilled black talent to the under-staffed information technology sector and plays a meaningful role in addressing the shortage of black IT skills in South Africa.This course is offered in collaboration with the Tshwane University of Technology. 
“At the end of the training and upon successful completion of the learnership, we place the learners in permanent positions within GijimaAst. We are careful to ensure that any learners we take on are assured of gainful employment afterwards as there is no point in taking on a learner only to put them back out on the street with skills but no job. The learnership program must tie in with business requirements and as such is an integral part of our overall business strategy,” explains Phillip.
In addition to the learnership program, GijimaAst also has a post graduate internship and bursary program. Last year, 14 interns were taken in, all of which have since been placed in permanent positions. Two university students specialising in engineering and informatics are also being sponsored to the tune of R100 000 towards their second year studies.

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