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SUSE: 4 October 2023

South Africa faces a persistent shortage of IT skills, which hinders the country's technological progress and the associated socio-economic benefits. SUSE, a renowned global provider of reliable and secure enterprise-grade open source solutions, and Axiz, a leading South African technology solutions provider, have joined forces to launch the “2023 SUSE Graduate Programme”. This initiative is part of a broader skills and development effort by the South African government aimed at equipping young graduates with specialised IT expertise and bridging the skills gap.

“South Africa’s economic welfare depends on empowering young people with the right skills for the global digital economy,” explains Robert Nkuna, Group Human Capital Director for Alviva Holdings. “SUSE and Axiz are partnering to provide expert knowledge on the latest open source technology to young graduates. The programme is a win-win for graduates, who gain expertise in the latest cloud-native technology, and for employers, who need skilled employees.”

First launched in 2018, the SUSE Graduate Programme offers comprehensive technical training and immersive exposure to SUSE's innovative technology.

“Open source is where innovation is happening today, knowledge-sharing and open collaboration with others is key to its persistent huge success,” explains Magda Hanekom, Partner Executive Sub-Saharan Africa at SUSE in South Africa, who initiated the programme. “Together with Axiz and our SUSE channel partners, we are able to offer young graduates a training programme that combines theory and hands-on experience as well as worldwide accredited certifications.”

Throughout the programme, graduates are placed with SUSE partners, allowing them to gain practical experience beyond technical skills. Emphasis is placed on developing essential soft skills necessary for success in the IT industry, including effective communication, teamwork and problem-solving abilities. This integrated approach ensures that graduates possess a well-rounded set of skills.

Dikeledi Langa, a young graduate in the programme, an intern with Azul Consulting, confirms: “My experience with the SUSE internship programme so far is excellent. Having the opportunity to learn new skills, this provides me with firsthand work experience in this field. The training programme is comprehensive and well-paced, and the instructors are knowledgeable and experienced. And I am glad that I have Azul Consulting as my host company.” He talks about his initial insecurity, and how his first encounter with Azul Consulting was “nerve-racking, but it turns out that was all just my head. I have got to see how they worked, how they dealt with clients, and more especially, how they treated me not as an intern but as their equal.”

Gavin McLean, Technical Support Manager at LSD Open, another SUSE partner participating in the programme and providing real-life job experience for the graduates, adds: “The SUSE Graduate Programme South Africa 2023 is a fantastic initiative to address the cloud skills gap and LSD Open is privileged to play a role in it. The four young professionals under our guidance are showing incredible growth, hunger and passion, and it is a pleasure to help accelerate their development in a niche technological environment,” he says.

The success of the SUSE skills initiative highlights the significance of collaborative efforts between industry leaders and educational institutions in addressing the IT skills gap. By providing industry-aligned training and fostering partnerships, this collaboration strengthens the pool of IT professionals, driving technological progress and contributing to economic growth in South Africa.

‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


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