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Software upskilling programme interns ready for job market

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The first graduates of the App Factory Internship Programme are eager to enter the ICT job market, following participation in the nine-month intensive training programme to upskill youth in software.

Their graduation comes as the newly-released National List of Occupations in High Demand indicates occupations in ICT-related fields are among the most sought-after in SA.

The list, compiled by the Department of Higher Education and Training, signals opportunities where students and graduates are likely to stand a better chance of finding employment, identifying jobs such as data scientists, Web developer, computer network technician and gaming worker, to name a few, among those in high demand in the country.

Samsung SA and Wits University’s Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct celebrated the graduates of the App Factory Internship Programme during an event held in Braamfontein, Johannesburg last week.

The event was attended by representatives from Samsung, the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, Tshimologong project managers as well as Wits University representatives.

Lindiwe Mncwabe, one of the graduates, shared her enthusiasm: “I am excited to graduate and look forward to my future as a software developer. Ever since I was young, I was always fascinated by computers, general applications and their function. I knew I would end up in the tech space and would like to thank Samsung for their commitment to skills development.”

Another graduate of the App Factory Frans Mahlangu added that he learnt a great deal from the initiative. “This programme had a positive impact on my life. If I had not been part of this internship, I would not have learnt the problem-solving skills that I now have, and am looking forward to being employed so that I may use my newly acquired skills.”

The App Factory is a collaborative initiative created by Samsung SA through its partnership with Tshimologong Precinct, to improve software development in SA.

Seven interns are given an opportunity to work on real-world projects under the guidance of a senior developer over the course of nine months.

“Tshimologong is committed to growing tech skills in South Africa through these development programmes,” says Lesley Donna Williams, CEO of Tshimologong. “It can only be successful when partners like Samsung join forces for the common good.”

According to Samsung, the intern-centred approach enables graduates to grow their competence and hone their skills. These skills are required by industry even when entering the job market as software developers. The practical learning serves as a foundation to allow the graduates to grow and be part of shaping the fourth industrial revolution.

The company adds it is committed to developing the community, identifying and prioritising young people with interventions that focus on their distinctive needs and ambitions in software development.

“Young people are most affected by our world’s greatest social, economic and environmental challenges,” says Hlubi Shivanda, director for business operations, innovation and corporate affairs at Samsung SA. “Samsung aims to empower this generation of problem-solvers by equipping them with future-proof skills and giving them practical understanding of the technologies that will shape their future and enrich sustainable growth of the world.

“As part of our global mission of enabling people, we believe they can undoubtedly play a vital role in building communities and creating a positive and prosperous future for all. We’re excited at the prospect of using technology and our partnership with Tshimologong to bring this vision to life,” Shivanda adds.

“Given the current state of the world, the persistent challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Samsung’s and Tshimologong’s second cohort is both timely and needed.”

Applications for the next group of local youth to join the software development skills programme are open until 13 December, commencing on 4 January 2021.

The programme will cover C#, ASP.NET Webforms, ASP.NET MVC, Angular, JavaScript and other software-related topics. Successful candidates will be paid a stipend for the duration of the internship.

Interested candidates are invited to e-mail a CV and covering letter to internship@tshimologong.joburg.

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