First Technology hosts ISETT Seta ICT learners

JOHANNESBURG (03/03/2004) - First Technology Pty. Ltd., the independent ICT solutions provider, says that it is currently hosting learners involved in the one-year ISETT SETA ICT learnership contract with tremendous results.

This learnership program is part of the National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS) which is spearheaded by the Department of Labour.

The focus of the learnership program is to provide unemployed youth with valuable work experience while they study. This program, based at First Technology's East London branch, allows learners to alternate one week with the training provider and two weeks with First Technology, where they are exposed to the real work environment.

On completion of the one-year stint the students walk out with a Systems Support Engineer NQF5 qualification - but, more importantly, one year hands-on ICT experience.

This program has a dual purpose. Firstly, the graduate students become equipped for the ICT market, and, secondly, the companies involved have the option to employ the students at the end of the year, thus developing the skills of their own permanent staff.

Doug Copeland, regional MD of First Technology, says that there is no financial commitment from the host employer, as the students' training costs and learner allowance are funded by ISETT Seta through their learnership grant. There is, however, a commitment in terms of time, as the students are inexperienced and need mentoring.

"We are four months into the program and the students are now virtually independent," says Copeland. "As with any ICT technicians, they are continually learning, but the basics are in place and I am confident that they are now good representatives of First Technology.

"They are attending to the basic call-outs on their own and have been onsite at some of our corporate customers for as long as two weeks with very positive feedback," he adds.

There are numerous advantages to employers, Copeland continues: "The students are trained according to your organization's ethics and commitments. You have the opportunity to employ these students at the end of their contract period (should you so wish) -- you know exactly what calibre person you are employing. The extra pair of hands is always welcome, and best of all is the pride when you walk in and see how competent these kids have become; hopefully you have made a positive contribution to their lives."

"When I was first approached by the ISETT Seta to host ICT Learners I was very sceptical and had many questions, as I was opening my organization to unknown students with unknown commitments and agendas," explains Copeland. "My concerns were completely unfounded and I would recommend that any ICT vendor get involved.

"I am really proud for having been part of this ISETT Seta -- First Technology partnership. For all those who want to get into the industry without experience -- this is the ideal route," concludes Copeland.

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