First Cohort from Cisco's Global Talent Acceleration Program in South Africa Graduate With Flying Colors
Education Initiative Marks First Milestone for Cisco's NIPP investment in South Africa Aiming to Narrow Gap between Supply and Demand of Regional Networking Talent
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, December 10, 2008 - Cisco furthered its goal to develop homegrown technical skills with the investiture last week of the first graduates of its South African Global Talent Acceleration Program (GTAP) in Johannesburg. This marks the first major delivery milestone in Cisco's recently announced investment into South Africa under the National Industrial Participation Programme (NIPP), the R215M Cisco Innovation Hub Technology Centre (CIHTC). Launched in September 2008, the CIHTC houses various ICT initiatives, including GTAP, all of which are expected to drive an incremental R1BN GDP effect over an initial five year period.
GTAP is a long-term Cisco initiative aimed at training next-generation local-network consulting engineers for the company. The 14 graduates hail from the inaugural cohort of associate network consulting engineers at the Johannesburg GTAP facility.
"The graduation of the first cohort of GTAP delegates is a milestone for Cisco in our efforts to invest in the South African economy by creating skilled local staff and providing our customers and partners with improved direct support," commented Steve Midgley, managing director for Cisco in South Africa. "By increasing the pool of skilled and certified local associate or professional engineers, the program will enable Cisco to better serve customers in South Africa. Our investment will help to foster a climate of confidence in which business and government leaders commit to major new projects."
GTAP has particular relevance in South Africa, where trained professionals are needed in information and communications technology (ICT) services delivery. The program is structured to be sustainable: The delegates already receive a salary and go through the training in relatively small groups of 16 people. This enables GTAP to put a strong emphasis on technical and professional instruction, mentorship and on-the-job training. Entry- or associate-level candidates for the program were all recent college graduates and mid- or professional-level students who had significant prior experience with Cisco networking. Torque IT, a Cisco Registered Partner in South Africa, hosts and manages the GTAP training facility at its premises in Johannesburg.
GTAP is accelerating rapidly across the globe and now boasts three facilities: the Jordan initiative (launched in November 2007); the Johannesburg facility, the 'hub' for programs in emerging Africa; and a recently launched facility in Bangalore, India.
Furthermore, Cisco recently announced that it has started recruiting candidates from Kenya, Angola, Nigeria, Namibia and Botswana for GTAP in Johannesburg. This is the first time the program is being extended to students outside South Africa. Successful candidates will start training in January 2009.
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