Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) is one sector in need of skills development in the country, especially if South Africa aims to prepare for the fourth industrial revolution.

Oracle has realised the skills shortage in the ICT sector and it is trying to do their part in helping previously disadvantaged South African students achieve specialised IT and leadership skills with their Oracle Graduate Leadership Programme.

According to Oracle, the programme takes place over the course  of one year, and it offers learning approach, combining classroom training with e-learning and structured on-the-job training. Furthermore the company covers for the full cost of training for all programme participants.

“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,” said managing director and technology leader at Oracle, Niral Patel.

The company added that this year, 21 students from previously disadvantaged backgrounds will be graduating from their programme, with 12 being female. The programme has delivered 106 graduates to date, and the firm adds that many of the graduates have secured permanent employment through Oracle partner companies and other organisations.

“Before we start training these youngsters, we ask our partners 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 while providing much-needed employment,” added Patel.

Enrolment for the 2019 programme has already finished with 28 students confirmed, and 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 up-skilled, sent into the market and found relevant jobs with our partners and customers,” concluded Patel.