Some of the largest challenges facing the IT industry is the shortage of skilled personnel. However, through a successful learnership, Errol de Preez, MultiChoice’s Chief Information Officer has over the last decade, managed to build an enviable team of IT specialists, that reflects MulitChoice’s support for employment equity. Although du Preez admits “it hasn’t been easy to achieve.”
The company works closely with the industry to promote development. “Over the years we have taken an active approach towards seeking young previously disadvantaged graduates. In 2008, MultiChoice worked on a specific learnership programme with the IT Seta and took on 3 learners, all of whom we have employed,” explains Du Preez.
This year MultiChoice is mentoring 10 learners, and hopes to be able to provide employment for some of them once their learnerships are complete.
“The programme is really about giving the learners experience in all facets of IT support and systems – from the typical customer interface, to high level technical interface with global satellites. There are also plans to include some international experience for the learners in future,” says Du Preez.
Overall, beyond the IT division, MultiChoice is currently pursuing a rigorous learnership and intern programme that has seen the participation of 32 learners in the company’s Business Strategy, Customer Care and HR divisions, while an additional 23 interns are undergoing training in their Corporate Affairs, Content, ITD and Finance divisions.
Du Preez, who has been with MultiChoice for 10 years and has always been in IT, acknowledges that the current skills shortage is certain to continue dogging the industry’s heels for a while yet. Nevertheless, he has a personal passion for nurturing young talent into the industry and looks forward to rising to this particular challenge in his own uniquely inimitable way.