Training that has Torque
Amid grand plans laid out by government to help South Africa embrace all the opportunities that the fourth industrial revolution has to offer, the challenge of an underskilled workforce remains a stumbling block for a business landscape champing at the bit to “go digital”.
Training and upskilling have naturally always been important, but the sheer speed of digital evolution makes it all the more difficult to keep up. Long ago recognising the potential of technology to help South Africa leapfrog over its stubborn skills and jobs shortage, Torque IT has – in one form or another – been at the forefront of ICT training since the 1990s.
When Microsoft first began issuing training certifications on its products during the MCSE boom of the 1990s, demand rose quickly in South Africa and around the world as it became many businesses’ first operating system. This is when Torque IT was born – albeit under the name Training Connection. Initially occupying six classrooms and with 180 students, high demand soon meant that bigger premises were in order. Today, Torque IT is one of Africa’s largest providers of ICT training.
Christian Visser, Technical Lead at Torque IT, recalls how far the organisation has come since the early days. The company today is accredited to deliver authorised training for 38 vendors, one of the largest range of ICT training offerings and a diverse range of internationally recognised certifications.
“Challenges are experienced with ever-changing employment trends and a constant demand for role-based skills and employees who are not only fit for purpose, but also future fit,” he says.
Torque IT’s trainers themselves are some of its most ardent students, ensuring they remain at the forefront of the industry with every new course added. The company’s virtual training offering has also been a lifeline to many students in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pivoting our model took just three days and we were quickly able to deliver over 800 000 minutes of virtual instructor-led training per week. We are exceedingly proud of this achievement, and this adaptation means we now have services and functionalities available to us that were only expected to be implemented in 2025.
Torque IT is Microsoft’s longest-standing Gold Training Partner in Africa, and has the largest examination centre of its kind on the continent – one of the largest in the world. Torque IT instructors have won numerous global awards across a multitude of vendors’ technologies, maintaining the highest status achievable from each with regard to training.
All Torque IT’s training packages involve a combination of delivery methods: in-person instructor-led, online virtual instructor-led and mobile hot desk attendance. Blended learning is another delivery method that enable learners access to future technology trends.
“Robotics, automation, artificial intelligence and so much more – 4IR is ready to usher in solutions to South Africa’s most stubborn challenges, from education to service delivery to food insecurity and climate change,” said Visser. “To this end, we don’t just train people – we make it our mission to help our students be a meaningful part of the change we all so desperately want to see in the South African business landscape, reskilling those who need it in ways that enable them to make a real difference.
“Filling occupations in high demand as well as critical and scarce skills is the key to unlocking an environment and sustainable economy able to tackle the triple structural challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment. Skills development is crucial to attaining the goals of enriching the daily lives of all South Africans,” he concludes.