South Africa’s government has emphasised its desired objective to achieve broadband rollout to all citizens by 2020 – just one facet of the broader National ICT plan, which also includes job creation and skills development. What are companies, specifically those within key sectors such as ICT, doing to promote skills development and recruiting these skills to address shortages?
While StatsSa has put the country’s unemployment average at near 27% and operators within the managed ICT services space have confirmed a shortage of technical skill sets (particularly more specialist skills, those required at the heart of the network), there is one company, Integr8, that has achieved outstanding results from its investment in two workers – Desktop Engineer Itumeleng Makhalamele and System Specialist Vicky Mochusi.
Both Makhalamele and Mochusi joined Integr8 in 2005. They began their careers as a Desktop Engineer and Technical Engineer respectively and each had ambition, an idea of where they wanted to go in the Company.
“I had one dream when I joined this company which is to grow with the business and gain experience and knowledge to be able to do my job to the best of my ability,” says Mochusi.
Makhalamele speaks frankly about his aims when he first entered Integr8. “To be rewarded as I deserve, to secure a proper increase and bonus to enjoy with my family.”
It has taken a few years and consistent exposure to training (specifically to acquire certification including MCSE and MCITP Enterprise Messaging Administrator) , but both employees are now secure in their roles and are progressing very well within the business.
They play an important role in helping to ensure the Company retains its dominance within the market, that service levels are sustained and that clients continue to remain happy says Robert Sussman, joint CEO, Integr8.
“This is a true success story, not only in terms of skills development, but also in terms of people development. When Itumeleng and Vicky arrived, we decided we wanted to invest in them – we could see they had some talent and ambition, two critical criteria. Very soon we could see how the investment was paying off and both members of the Integr8 team continue to excel in their positions,” Sussman explains.
As Mochusi puts it, “I still believe that Interg8 is still going to grow and, as for myself, I would still be part of that growth. There is no limit that I have put to my career or myself. I see myself having all the knowledge and skills to lead technical team in developing and implementing more complex infrastructure.”
For Makhalamele the sky is the limit. He wants to run his own business one day and has sourced a great deal of motivation and encouragement from CEO Sussman.
Executive leadership at Integr8 confirms that its learnership and mentorship program has grown significantly. The Company has always- and will always place a premium on acquiring and retaining the very best talent the market has to offer. For those who may not have had exposure to formal technical training, there is an opportunity if they are dedicated, committed and – like the Company – have a burning desire to retain top spot.