Twenty one previously disadvantaged (PDI) South African students, of which twelve are female, graduated from the Oracle Graduate Leadership Programme. Now in its fifth year, the programme focuses on equipping PDI students with specialised IT and leadership skills that prepare them for a career in the IT industry.
“Every year our programme takes in previously disadvantaged graduates to address the critical skills shortage in our industry. Any drive towards closing the skills gap and addressing unemployment should be tied to the fourth industrial revolution or we risk our country becoming uncompetitive and irrelevant both locally and globally. By developing the hard and soft skills needed to succeed in the digital world, we are creating a future skills pipeline for Oracle and the wider ICT community,” says Niral Patel, Managing Director and Technology Leader for Oracle South Africa
The Oracle Graduate Leadership Programme is spread over a period of one year and offers a blended learning approach, combining classroom training with e-learning and structured on-the-job training. Oracle South Africa sponsors the full cost of training for all programme participants.
“Before we start training these youngsters, we ask our partners and customers what they need and then build a programme that provides the right skills, relevant for the market. This actively and strategically closes the skills gap all the while providing much-needed employment,” says Patel.
Tshegofatso Biloane, one of this year’s graduates, found employment as a software developer at a consulting services company. “The programme built the right foundation I needed for my career moving forward. It taught me about the industry and how to work with people from different walks of life. I’ll always remember my time spent at the programme,” she says.
Her advice to future students, “Use every opportunity to ask questions, meet new people and gain new perspectives. The knowledge you acquire and connections you make will take you far in your career.”
The programme has successfully delivered 106 graduates to date, with many of them securing permanent employment with Oracle partner companies and other organisations. Enrolment for the 2019 programme has commenced with 28 students already confirmed, with an even split of females and males.
“It is satisfying to look back at the success of this programme over the past few years – the graduates have come in, have been upskilled, sent into the market and have found relevant jobs with our partners and customers,” concludes Patel.