Mint Group mitigates tech skills shortage with ERP Academy
Global technology innovator and 2022 Microsoft South Africa Partner of the Year, Mint Group, continues to deliver against its vision of ‘creating a better tomorrow’ through the newly founded Mint ERP Academy, Acada-Mintie.
Designed to empower potential Microsoft Dynamics 365 F&O Consultants with both technical knowledge and non-technical skills, the Mint Academy programme was established because of the need to identify talent in the ERP space.
Head of ERP at the time, Andre Pearce, and current Head of ERP Nikki Isherwood were both determined to find a way to meet their growing business’s talent requirements in a highly competitive skills environment and proposed the idea of an academy in order to cross-skill people using the technology in their current roles into the consulting role.
“The critical shortage of skills within the technology economy is well documented,” explains Mint Group Head of People, Lauren Clark. “We realise that it is up to all of us, from government to the education sector to tech companies, to find sustainable solutions to the skills crisis.”
“Mint has a strong commitment to empowering people and supporting them to reach their full potential. Our Academy gives us the platform to deliver against this commitment and, at the same time, contribute to finding a solution to mitigate the skills shortage,” explains Clark.
“We kicked off by looking for people who have the unique combination of finance skills and/or ERP experience and a desire to get into the technology consulting arena.”
The first seven ‘Acada-Minties’ (Mint Academy participants) joined the programme in May this year and have settled into a steady rhythm of on-the-job training. From a broad range of backgrounds, the initial delegates have varying levels of exposure to technology and finance. But what they all have in common is a willingness to embark on a journey of growth and learning to ultimately secure a meaningful career in technology.
In the first six months, the delegates must complete a minimum of between four and six Microsoft certifications covering topics that include fundamentals of ERP, supply chain management, manufacturing, finance and operations, etc.
“Developing talent is a big part of our people-first value, which is core to Mint’s mission statement and our purpose. We firmly believe that we can create tomorrow by growing and investing in our own talent and focusing on providing consistent upskilling and learning opportunities,” Clark explains.
The company plans to refine each subsequent version of the academy as they open additional intakes every six months to between six and 12 new candidates per intake group.
In partnership with Microsoft, and with its two training providers, Mecer Inter-Ed and LGIT Smart Solutions, Mint recognises the value of creating a mutually beneficial learning experience. Academy delegates have the opportunity to not only complete the technical aspects of the training programme, but also immerse themselves in non-technical development components and company culture.
“Mint is proud to facilitate an environment where people can pivot their careers and build a new specialisation for themselves. Our Academy provides an opportunity for people who believe that they have hit a glass ceiling within their career to move into a fast-paced, high-performing system delivery role,” says Isherwood. “Microsoft is continuously improving its business application suite. Mint consultants are equipped to drive value to our clients from these enhancements. Our Academy allows new entrants into the business applications arena to grow their skills and become world-class delivery experts. Furthermore, Mint is increasing global delivery capacity for the solutions Mint provides.”
“After successfully completing the Academy programme and meeting the relevant criteria, our Acada-Minties will be offered a permanent position at Mint. Through this process, we are excited to be able to offer both technical skills and employment opportunities,” concludes Clark.
Mint Group is a Microsoft Gold IT consultancy and systems integrator providing innovative and disruptive solutions. As a cloud solution provider (CSP) with expertise across all three Microsoft Clouds – Azure, Dynamics 365 and Microsoft 365, Mint crafts industry solutions to help improve customer experiences, increase agility, improve operational efficiency and accelerate the digital transformation journey with AI and cognitive services for businesses and government institutions globally.
The company also holds the following accolades: 2019 and 2022 Microsoft South Africa Partner of the Year, Dynamics Business Applications Services Partner of the Year, Artificial Intelligence (AI) Partner of the Year, Microsoft Consulting Services Partner of the Year, Modern Work Partner of the Year and Business Applications Power Platform Partner of the Year at the prestigious Microsoft Partner Awards 2020 and 2021. In recognition of their innovation on Microsoft Azure, Mint was, in addition, the only South African partner selected as a finalist for the Commercial Marketplace category at the Microsoft Global Awards.