ServiceNow and Quintica collaborate to address the skills gap in the information technology sector.
Muhammed Omar, country manager, Africa, ServiceNow, says the company’s aim is to grow and develop the next generation of leaders by closing the technical skills gap and ensuring that all communities have access to education in technology.
The company has, as a result, collaborated with Quintica to start an initiative called the NextGen programme, which aims to provide an opportunity to the youth to train, reskill and upskill with the goal of recruiting local talent.
“Our mission is to create unlimited opportunities for training and employment for populations that are traditionally marginalised from the field of technology – populations like Africa,” Muhammed says.
Quintica, a ServiceNow Elite partner, is helping companies unlock the platform by creating service experiences that drive customer loyalty and company-wide productivity, advancing their digital journey.
The NextGen programme is a global initiative and has been around for several years, but this year saw its first-ever group of African intakes.
Those who completed the programme have been able to get promoted, find employment, or are now equipped with the skills that are in high demand – making them more “marketable” for recruiters and corporates who are hiring.
Five people were selected from a pool of 300 African applicants to take part in the programme.
Zimkhita Buwa, CEO and board member at Quintica South Africa, says “We are so proud of the first South African cohort, each with different backgrounds but shared experiences. These graduates have now been placed best to improve their futures and the future of those around them who rely on them for financial support. The opportunities to pursue their careers are now set on course through their identified and nurtured talents.”
All five of the participants have graduated from the programme and begin their respective new journeys by having addressed their personal skills gaps.
Zimkhita says the “NextGen” graduates have been great examples of resilience and tenacity. “We had a broad range of participants. Some had work experience, some were unemployed or retrenched and some just needed upskilling. The NextGen programme aims to change the lives of these graduates by giving them the skills they need to empower themselves and their future careers.”
One participant, Thulani Mhlwana, an IT and computer science graduate from Ekurhuleni, says joining Quintica as an intern gave him the opportunity to take the part in the ServiceNow NextGen programme – an opportunity he did not think was possible after being retrenched and unemployed.
“Quintica is like a family to me. Everyone welcomes you with a smile and open arms. I see a promising future ahead.
“It’s not just about on-the-job learning for me, it’s about personal, work and career development. I’ve taken myself out of my comfort zone and embraced opportunities that have a real business and broader industry impact.”
Puseletso Nofemele, who worked night shifts in a call centre to pay for textbooks to study IT and finance, is now able to harness the skills learned through the NextGen programme and work towards a successful career in IT.
According to reports, South Africa has the highest share of female graduates in sub-Saharan Africa at 32 percent, and even more female ICT graduates, at 38 percent. ServiceNow says this shows that concerted efforts are being made to narrow the gender gap in STEM education.