VODACOM’S multi-million Programme for Females in Technology (GPFT) continued with its growth as it celebrated its fourth year by incepting another 22 South African women.
Lungi Ndlovu, Chief Human Resource Officer at Vodacom Group, says as a result of the success and growth of the GPFT, this year Vodacom has decided to launch a multi-pronged graduate development programme anchored around the core functions of the business.
Since its inception in 2006, Vodacom has invested R15 million in its GPFT programme, with 48 women having participated in this three-year programme. With the additional intake this year the total investment is estimated to reach R25m.
“As a result of the previous years’ success and growth of the GPFT, we have launched a multi-pronged Graduate Development Programme in 2009, anchored around the core functions of the business including Engineering & Technology, Billing & IT and Commercial. This year will see our participants not only gain skills in the technology and engineering fields of telecommunications but also in the commercial field.”
“The GPFT is already playing a crucial role as a vehicle for the advancement and integration of women into the ICT arena and into the business world at large. The addition of the commercial stream will allow our candidates to develop in depth skills in convergence and enable them to compete in a fast-paced business environment.”
According to Ndlovu, 98 percent of the participants from past intakes have been permanently employed by Vodacom and are playing key roles in the technical areas of the business.
Vodacom launched its GPFT after it conducted an analysis of its technical staff complement in 2005, which revealed a shortage of female staff in core business areas. As a result Vodacom developed the graduate programme to encourage and support women to develop the skills needed to work in a technical area in the telecommunications industry. Vodacom offers permanent jobs to those candidates who have successfully gained competence in the core areas of the business after the completion of the first year on the programme, providing them with an exceptional opportunity to move ahead in their careers.
Rebecca Galland, who joined this year’s programme after having completed a National Diploma in Technology at the Vaal University of Technology, described the programme as a “huge opportunity.”
“As a woman in a male dominated industry, an opportunity like this one becomes all that much more significant. I feel fortunate to be gaining such meaningful work experience at a highly reputable company like Vodacom,” said Galland
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