Oracle develops skills for the future


Digital skills are now more essential than ever, which is exactly what participants in Oracle’s Graduate Leadership Programme are being schooled in.

Oracle Graduate Leadership Programme is now in its sixth year, and 133 young South Africans have honed their IT and leadership skills. Many have also secured permanent employment with Oracle partner companies or other organisations.

The one-year programme combines classroom training with e-learning and on-the-job training.

Recruitment is managed through the company’s careers page, as well as LinkedIn. Oracle runs similar programmes in other countries. The local course consists of consulting skills, a sales boot camp, and a skills programme based on NQF levels four and five.

Sixty students joined the programme this year. Oracle South Africa managing director Niral Patel says the programme aims to address the skills gap in the local ICT industry while creating employment among the country’s youth.

He says with the highest unemployment rate in the world, it believes corporate South Africa has a responsibility to develop local practical and technical skills.

Two students in this year’s intake spoke to The Margin about the programme.

Chantel Ching, a 2019 graduate, says she’d grown personally and professionally.

“I have learned so much, from soft skills to technical skills, and have learned to stand out from the crowd. I have learned how to work on parallel projects and tasks at the same time,” she says.

Katlego Lebepe joined the management line of business in April after coming to Oracle for the face-to-face interview in March.

“Shortly after the interview, the lockdown was announced so I haven’t had the opportunity to have the day-to-day work experience or really meet the other interns as yet.” She says she’s found the training to be challenging.

“Online sessions feel longer than if you were sitting in-person in a room. However, the team I work in generally worked remotely pre-Covid, so I’ve been comfortable adapting to the virtual meeting world. I appreciate how much the local team has made me feel like part of the team despite not going to the office. The biggest lesson I’ve learnt and would perhaps share with others in need is to reach out when you’re feeling alone.”

The students began the programme near the end of January, ahead of the lockdown, and so did receive some in-person training. They were also supplied with laptops, VPN access, and broadband internet for home work. The programme also includes regular check-ins with their mentors and teams.

“These students literally form part of the sales, consulting, services and support functions – so they attend meetings, present, and do certifications, along with the various programme training they have been enrolled for,” says Patel.
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