Software development and testing company DVT, together with sister company and education partner Dynamic DNA, have announced the largest ever intake to their co-run Learnership IT skills training and apprenticeship programme for 2017.

For the first time, 100 learners have been selected to participate in the programme, with special provisions having been made to accommodate the large number of students at Dynamic DNA’s Randburg headquarters in Johannesburg.

Established in 2015, the Learnership Programme gives learners the opportunity to empower themselves with specialist IT, software development, software testing and business skills that make them highly employable. It addresses the dual challenges of uplifting historically disadvantaged communities and tackling the severe lack of professional skills in the South African IT industry.

“The Learnership Programme was born from the need to fill the massive shortage of skills not only in our own organisation but in the broader community as well,” says Prudence Mabitsela, MD of Dynamic DNA.

“At the same time, we have actively committed to DVT’s strong ethical direction and BEE skills development programme, which also includes the highly successful Internship Programme for university graduates,” says Mabitsela.

“Together these programmes aim to create a pool of highly employable professionals, starting from the basic grassroots level of school leavers through to qualified management-level graduates. Judging by the number of learners we’ve just enrolled in the programme, it’s clear not only how big this need is in our country, but also how successful these programmes have proven so far.”

DVT CEO Jaco van der Merwe says one of the biggest and most important challenges in South Africa is reversing the high unemployment rate, particularly among the youth and disempowered.

“The Learnership Programme – and subsequently Dynamic DNA, which was created to run the programme and is now a fully-accredited training institution in its own right – are crucial steps in ensuring we play our part in facing these challenges head-on,” says Van der Merwe.

“It’s not only about BEE and social responsibility; it’s our mandate to help learners that show an aptitude and passion for IT and business in their studies to be given the opportunity to break into this highly competitive industry. In doing so, we satisfy the need both internally and externally for professionally trained employees, but more importantly give them the means to go back into their communities and start to uplift them from within.”

Co-funded by MICT SETA, DVT’s Learnership Programme comprises two streams – systems development and bookkeeping – running over a 12-month period in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Learners attain NQF Level 5 certification on successful completion of the course and a Level 6 Diploma.

“We are proud to have partnered with DVT on this Learnership Programme. The skills that they are imparting on the learners are filling an important gap by providing what are already scarce skills in the ICT sector,” says Robert Tshikhovhi, MICT SETA Learning Programmes Advisor.

Other programme partners include eGovernment, Dot Modus and Modus BPS. The 2017 Learnership Programme kicked off in September this year and will run for a year, with most participants expected to stay on for the second-year internship phase.

If you are interested in partnering with Dynamic DNA to create employment for the skilled learners after completion of their Learnership Programme, contact Prudence Mabitsela on [email protected].