SA's first Red Hat learnership begins

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Red Hat, Obsidian Systems and CTU on Thursday celebrated the launch of the first Red Hat learnership in SA.

Over the next 12 months, 20 students will be trained as open source professionals, specialising in Red Hat's open source software.

The programme incorporates six months of theory with six months of practical work, which will be divided into three months working for Obsidian, and three months working for external clients, explained Muggie van Staden, MD at Obsidian.

The learnership is aimed at matriculants "who would like to embark on a career but do not have the funding to do so," said Colette Swanepoel, vendor manager for Red Hat at CTU.

The candidates, who could apply for the learnership online, were selected by CTU's recruiting department, who looked for strong Maths marks and an eagerness to learn, Swanepoel explained.

The learnership should continue to run every year, and there are plans to expand the programme to upskill its graduates, for example via internship programmes, Swanepoel expanded.

The programme is a co-operation between multinational open source software company Red Hat, local Red Hat partner Obsidian Systems, and technology training provider CTU. CTU will train the students in Red Hat's software, while Obsidian will employ the learners for the practical component of the course.

The learnership is co-funded by Red Hat, Obsidian, and Mict Seta.

The programme will help SA's IT industry meet increasing demands for open source software skills, of which there is currently a shortage, said Dion Harvey, country GM of Red Hat Sub-Saharan Africa.

"Open source is relatively new in terms of the academic market," added Swanepoel.

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