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Hundreds of Interns made Employable

July 16, 2014, by Amanda Maliba

Thriving Partnership Between Government and Private Sector Has Trained Thousands of Graduated Since Inception

Pretoria News | Star Workplace | Amanda Maliba

07/02/2014

Every time something good happens, we come together to celebrate collectively.  Something good has happened for many of us in this room today and we are here to celebrate, says Shaka Sisulu in his opening speech at the 2014 Microsoft Student2Business graduation ceremony held at the Microsoft head offices last Thursday.

Their first batch of interns in the information and communication technologies (ICT) sector graduated after completing their internships at various employing partners nationally.

These students are now employable within the technological sector.

“Today was made possible by all the partners we have and it is an honour to have been able to run such a successful programme,” says Microsoft’s Mteto Nyati, Microsoft SA’s managing director.

With the thriving partnerships formed between the government’s Jobs Fund, MICT Seta, NetHope and Microsoft’s 4Afrika initiative, the organisation has been able to train 8,000 students since inception and will train 3,000 more in the next two years.

Student2Business was launched 8 years ago when Microsoft wanted to solve a problem that existed when companies wanted to recruit the right candidates in the (ICT) sector but could not lay their hands on their ideal candidates.

Microsoft also aimed to make a sustainable difference by alleviating unemployment by offering training and internship opportunities, through its partners, that will lead to employment, said Nqobile Diamini, the Citizenship Leader of Microsoft.

“The major success factor of this internship programme lies in the fact that 80 percent of the graduating students have gone on to find formal employment in the ICT sector this year,” she says.

“This is a substantial achievement that is sorely needed in light of the World Economic Forum’s scathing Global Risk 2014 report stating that South Africa has the third highest unemployment rate globally among its youth.”

She refers to this internship programme as very different because it produces a readily skilled graduate, trained within their craft and also one that has experience within the workplace setting.

Najwah Edries, National Treasury Head of Employment and Social Security PMU, said that this opportunity is an imperative move, given the job crisis in the country.

For the 2014 programme, 499 students have graduated nationally, and 700 young people who are still undergoing internships are due to finish this year.

Of the 250 Gauteng graduates, there were also those who received the top-achievers award, namely Michael Nthodi and Keith Radebe who both shared the number one spot; with Jason Lippinhof, Bonolo Mashiane, Jack Mathadi, Tumelo Mokwena and Jarryd Patterman who followed as runners-up within the programme.

“I am truly humbled and blessed to have been part of this programme that has opened so many doors for me.  After my formal tertiary education, things were not as smooth as one might reckon because I lacked work experience and further training that would make me invaluable,” says Nthodi.

“I spent two years full, unemployed until I settled for something I did not actually want.”

Nthodi then made the choice of applying for the Student2Business, which meant quitting his job to be what he wanted to be.

Now he is a permanent employee, doing what he loves and has always dreamed of doing.

*For more information, visit www.s2bprogram.com/southafrica.