CIDA ICT Academy moves to new facilities

A move which sees the academy consolidating and streamlining its facilities and operations, benefiting both delivery to its students and sponsors’ investment.

March 28, 2012
  • Next step in a remarkable journey.
  • Almost 1000 students from disadvantage communities have been enrolled.
  • To provide the perfect platform to excel in training.

The CIDA ICT Academy has relocated to new premises in Lyndhurst, Johannesburg – a move which sees the academy consolidating and streamlining its facilities and operations, benefiting both delivery to its students and sponsors’ investment.

Previously situated in Commissioner Street, Johannesburg the new Lyndhurst campus for the ICT Academy undoubtedly represents the next chapter in its remarkable journey which has since its inception in 2003 – with an initial 121 students – enrolled almost 1000 students from disadvantaged communities.

Comments Mardia van der Walt-Korsten from T-Systems in South Africa: “We’re extremely excited about providing both the students and co-sponsors with a campus that sets yet another important benchmark for the country’s ICT training endeavours. The new facilities will provide students with the perfect platform to excel in their training, setting them firmly on a path to career success in the South African ICT industry.”
Since its inception, the academy has had a 95 percent pass rate which is higher than some profit-making training organisations and importantly above 85 percent employment in IT-related fields.

Inspired by the success of the CIDA City Campus, a non-profit higher education establishment founded in Johannesburg 1999, T-Systems in South Africa together with founding partners CIDA, SAP, Sun Microsystems, CompTIA, Cisco Systems, DEG and Outlearning established the ICT Academy. This included R4 million start-up funding.

Currently, four of the seven founding members are still involved with academy. The current partners – Microsoft, SAP, CompTIA, T-Systems and CIDA – offer financial contribution that is utilised towards rent, utilities and infrastructure, text books, tuition, exam fees and student lunches. Additionally, some of the country’s most prominent ICT players support the academy through workplace programmes.

T-Systems in South Africa has since 2003 continually invested R3.5 million annually towards the academy and also uses the ICT Academy graduates as one of the feeders to their Internship Programme. The programme has enrolled more than 250 interns since inception, of which 90 percent have been employed fulltime by the company. For those that have not gained permanent employment within T-Systems, the company’s learnership programme has assisted in finding positions for these interns at other prominent organisations.

SAP has been a long-standing partner of the CIDA ICT Academy in partnership with T-Systems. The software giant currently offers Business One training and certification to the SAP students. “We see the academy as a vital platform to promote relevant ICT skills for the African market,” says Siphiwe Sibanda, HR Director of SAP Africa. We have invested more than R 8 million rands in the academy since its inception and have made a contribution of R500 000,00 towards the development of the new ICT academy here in Lyndhurst.

However, in order to run a successful training programme such as the ICT Academy and learnership, it is important to remain abreast of what business requires from its technology partners and employees, and where the globe is heading with regards to ICT advancements.

As a result the campus features cutting-edge training resources which includes 12 computer labs with well over R10 million worth of equipment. “It is important that our students and interns are equipped with current training to ensure that they are sought-after and highly employable,” adds van der Walt-Korsten.

Citizenship lead at Microsoft South Africa, Vis Naidoo, echoes this: “We are delighted with the work these institutions do to ready young people for the job market. In broad, our citizenship programme at Microsoft is devoted to ultimately prepare students to become productive members’ of society and to contribute to the South African economy.”

Administrative costs are also kept low as students – who only pay 7 percent of what they would pay at similar institutions – are expected to contribute to the running of the campus, earning credits toward their final mark. These include computer maintenance, administrative work, marketing, market research and even cleaning and cooking.

The ICT Academy curriculum comprises 70 percent theoretical training and 30 percent learnership or workplace practical training where the students are placed at various ICT organisations. Furthermore, the academy offers softer skills training to overcome communication and cultural challenges.

The high standard of learning and credibility of the ICT Academy has also been recognised by the Media, Advertising, Information and Communication Technologies Sector Education and Training Authority (MICT SETA), previously known as Isett SETA. CompTIA has also added the ICT Academy to its database of corporate trainers, which is undoubtedly a feather in the cap of any local institution and again indicative of the standard of the curriculum.

“The ICT Academy has also proven its sustainability and has been operational for eight years. We believe the academy is one of the ICT learning institutions of the future which is why it is imperative that we stay ahead of the curve with up-to-date facilities, theory and practical learning,” concludes van der Walt-Korsten.

Current certification courses include:
– CompTIA entry-level certificates (ICDL, A+) and Network+ course which is an entry level Microsoft based networking certificate (added to the curriculum in 2011
– CISCO CCNA and CCNP
– SAP Business-1 certificates
– Microsoft MCITP Server and Enterprise Security certificates

For more on the CIDA City Campus ICT Academy please visit: http://www.cidaictacademy.co.za