Financial services provider to the people of KwaZulu-Natal, Ithala SOC Limited has partnered with BANKSETA in a bid to empower youth in the province with IT skills and experience.
The BANKSETA 10 month ICT Work Readiness Programme provides ICT training to participants all over the country and is designed to address the identified ICT skills shortages in the banking and microfinance sector.
The programme includes four months in-service training for System Support culminating in an NQF Level 5 certification and 60 credits.
South Africa was ranked 49th out of 63 economies in the IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking 2018, marking a drop from the previous year’s 47th position in the overall digital ranking. Digital competitiveness was ranked according to three indicators – knowledge, technology and future readiness. According to the report, South African’s drop in rankings was influenced by the decline in knowledge and future readiness.
Sihle Gwala, Head of Human Resources at Ithala SOC Limited said, “We support the National Agenda of ‘making every workspace a training space’ It is imperative that we build a pipeline of IT talent to keep pace with a technologically advancing world where these skills are in high demand.”
“The partnership with BANKSETA enables us as a financial services provider to contribute to the objectives of the Financial Sector Charter by developing the competencies of learners from previously disadvantaged backgrounds in KZN and improving their chances of employment.”
Gwala said it was concerning that South African companies were looking overseas for critical skills that can’t be found on our home ground, adding that the gap to develop young IT professionals needed to be pursued vigorously.
The graduates who joined Ithala SOC Limited were grateful for the opportunity to work in a professional environment which exposed them to a variety of skills and capabilities.
Siphiwe Maphumulo, 28, from Kwamakhasa in Hluhluwe, northern KwaZulu-Natal said: “I gained valuable experience in the banking sector and thoroughly enjoyed my internship. I am confident the practical experience will work in my favour when applying for jobs that require traceable references.” Maphumulo obtained a Bachelor of Commerce in Management Information Systems from the University of Zululand.
Mzolisi Mzika, 26, from KwaMadi in Bizana, Eastern Cape, said: “If I could sum it all up, through this experience I gained more than just knowledge – I gained hands-on experience and learned that this is something I am not only good at but love.” Mzika obtained a National Diploma in Information Technology from the Richfield Graduate Institute of Technology.
Thobeka Mngoma, 25, from Ntuzuma, Durban said: “I enjoyed my training experience. I was treated as a professional and believe the internship has prepared me well for the future. I came here with nothing except theoretical knowledege but now I have a better understanding of what is happening in the IT field.” Mngoma has a National Diploma in Information Technology from Damelin.
A distribution network of 39 Ithala branches in KZN provides transacting facilities. Ithala offers a comprehensive portfolio of corporate and personal banking solutions.