Johannesburg, 09 Oct 2023
The Argility Technology Group (ATG), part of the Data and Technology cluster arm of global enterprise, Smollan, has revealed details of its vision for the growth of the organisation through continuous investment in staff education programmes tailored to address specific skills gaps and align with the company's strategic business objectives.
These initiatives take various forms, including comprehensive technology training, workshops and seminars led by industry experts. By providing opportunities to enhance skills and upgrade general capabilities, ATG ensures staff are equipped to tackle the challenges of today's fast-paced digital business environment.
“ATG recognises the importance of a supportive and collaborative work culture in nurturing talent. Our employees are our most valuable asset, and their development is pivotal to our overall success. By investing in their development, ATG is not only empowering them with the skills they need to excel, but also fostering a culture of innovation and continuous learning. ATG provides an inclusive environment where staff have access to online and face-to-face learning programmes, cross-functional collaborations and knowledge-sharing platforms. Through these initiatives, the group encourages the exchange of ideas, expertise and collective growth,” says Faith Mangwane, ATG People Partner.
“At the core of ATG's investment in its people is a deep-rooted belief in the inherent potential of every employee. The company provides career development pathways and promotes internal mobility, encouraging individuals to explore diverse roles and expand their professional horizons within the organisation. By nurturing talent from within, ATG retains top performers and cultivates a dynamic and motivated workforce,” adds Mangwane.
She confirms current training programmes in progress at ATG include:
- Retail4U-based Java training.
- Google Professional Certifications.
- Data literacy.
- Soft skills for EQ, conflict management, coaching.
- Junior, mid and senior management.
- Leadership and more.
Collaboration with Java training leader – VZAP
Keenan Naidoo, Argility Divisional System Manager, says one such initiative is the re-skilling of highly trained technical staff in Java – the widely used programming language for coding web applications.
For this exercise, ATG engaged with Van Zyl and Pritchard, commonly known as VZAP, renowned in the IT sector for the quality of its Java training courses that are geared for both first-time programmers as well as experienced developers looking to upskill or cross-skill to Java.
“Our people possess incomparable domain knowledge, technical skills and experience, with our iRIS platform team alone boasting in excess of 340 years' combined retail experience. ATG took a strategic decision to dip into this phenomenal tech reservoir and re-skill in areas specific to our wider tech stack requirements.
“The battle for tech talent has intensified in today's competitive digitally transformed landscape, with Java skills emerging as a crucial differentiator. However, these skills remain scarce in the country, posing significant challenges for organisations seeking to stay ahead of the curve in the digital era. We firmly believe that by bolstering our technological prowess, we can contribute to not only the growth of our business, but of the industry as a whole, as our local workforce are equipped with the tools they need to thrive,” says Naidoo.
He confirms ATG has tailored a specialised programme that directly caters to the group’s unique requirements. “Unlike generic training programmes, our focused initiative is designed to enhance our current capabilities, aligning closely with our solutions and software. By investing in this targeted approach, we ensure that our employees acquire the exact skills needed to excel in their roles, thus creating a pool of talent primed to tackle the challenges of today and tomorrow,” he adds.
Gregory Guy, Head Lecturer, VZAP, confirms that collaboration is key to any business success story. “So, it’s always refreshing to have a bright bunch of candidates to train and the Argility team have been just that. We offer specialised short training courses and having the input from the Argility team in creating individualised content to service their resources has been extremely helpful. They know exactly what they need for their team and our lecturers are enjoying delivering it to them. The challenge of tailoring the curriculum to meet the ATG team’s needs has been both invigorating and immensely rewarding.
“As we navigate this educational journey together, I find myself savouring every minute of it. Their hard work, inquisitiveness and commitment to learning creates an environment that fosters growth and mutual respect. We look forward to hosting more courses and collaborations with Argility in the future and believe their candidates are achieving great success going forward with their new skill set,” says Guy.
According to Naidoo, ATG envisions a future where its workforce possesses a deep well of Java and Google expertise, enabling the technology innovator to deliver innovative solutions and maintain its competitive edge. “By continuously investing in our people's growth and development, we are securing their professional success and contributing to the overall progress of our organisation plus the wider industry,” Naidoo concludes.