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Mshtarii Academy aims to close ICT skills gap

March 11, 2019 • Education, Southern Africa, Top Stories

Mshtarii Academy aims to close ICT skills gap

Mshtarii Academy aims to close ICT skills gap.

Mshtarii Investments has released five new platforms across a wide range of industries and is bringing a team of graduate interns to participate in their newly launched Mshtarii Software Development Academy (Mshtarii Academy).

The Mshtarii Academy is registered with MICT Seta and the Department of Education (DOE) and offers two Seta-accredited courses – end-user computing and software development. Discussions are underway to team up with private-sector partners to continue filling the massive gap in the ICT sector.

The company enlisted the services of newly graduated software development graduates from Durban University of Technology (DUT) and Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT). “The students were enthusiastic to learn, but their skill sets, in terms of readiness for the world of work, was way behind what was required by industry,” says Mshtarii Director, Richard Hall, “so we went back to the drawing board.”

In 2017 the Mshtarii management team trained the first group of interns at their own cost using an in-house developed curriculum. “It was a steep learning curve for us all,” recalls Hall, “but we learnt some valuable lessons.” Mshtarii took on 20 developer interns, three network interns, four administrative interns and three graphic design interns, but soon realized they needed a more formal approach that they could share with an even wider audience and the idea for a training facility was born.

Hall believes the Academy is hugely beneficial for both employers and students. Graduates get much needed ‘on-the-job’ experience, putting them in a stronger position to find employment with their newly acquired skills and knowledge, while employers can identify and nurture future employees that are not only adequately qualified and ready for work, but will also be contributing to bringing the country’s unemployment rate down. “It’s a win-win all-round.”

About the Mshtarii Internship Programme office management and technology graduate, Nombulelo Ndlovu said, “Finding an organisation with a focused strategy on the growth and development of graduates has been a privilege. I have learnt essential skills and gained knowledge far beyond what the classroom taught me. I am grateful to have stepped into the corporate world with a company that unearths our full potential.”

Graphic design graduate, Phumlani Mthembu said, “The internship has been a very good learning experience and my design skills have been improved drastically. Through the mentorship I have progressed far beyond where I was a year ago through real-world work experience.”

Information technology graduate, Gizelle Naidoo said, “I’ve broadened my field of web designing, gained experience and learnt much more about my specific field. The exposure of meeting and working with much more experienced developers and web designers has helped me gain more knowledge and experience.”

The academy now has its sights set on other sectors including Public Relations (PR) and communications. “This is only the beginning,” enthuses Hall. “With the rapid technological advancements happening by the minute, it’s imperative that our graduates are up to speed so that they can enhance their skills and find work in their industries as soon as possible.”

Edited by Fundisiwe Maseko
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