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New-age systems and solutions integrator, +OneX, is helping to address the severe shortage of IT skills in South Africa with its Work Experience Program — an intern program that aims to transform recent graduates and other young IT workers into seasoned developers on an accelerated work experience timetable. Interns emerge from the program as well-rounded professionals with the technical abilities and soft skills they need to thrive in the workplace.

Interns who are selected for the paid internship program work alongside +OneX mentors on client projects to build their technical experience in a real-world setting. They are also trained up in a soft skills curriculum that equips them with the interpersonal and business skills needed to navigate the work environment. Each intern is paired with a more experienced ‘buddy’ who helps them grow in the company and thrive in its culture of leading without titles.

+OneX has already recruited five interns into its software, data and cloud divisions, with plans to accommodate another 10 this year. They will work in a range of engineering, design, user experience, user interface, project management and data science roles. The company has ambitious plans to scale up the Work Experience Program as it perfects the curriculum and onboarding process.

+OneX, PlusOneX, IT skills, youth empowerment, ICT skills

“The South African IT industry faces a serious skills crunch and needs to find ways to turn young, inexperienced professionals into productive developers and engineers in shorter timeframes. Our Work Experience Program is our vision for transforming young entrants in the job market into capable, productive IT professionals who are ready to flourish in the workplace,” says Morgan Goddard, Software Development Executive at +OneX.

“We believe there are two factors that make our program unique. The first is that the developers we take on are integrated into our culture of leading without titles, where they work with a buddy to grow in the company. They have someone to guide their journey, which may culminate in the offer of a permanent position and the chance to grow with +OneX. The second is our heavy focus on helping them develop soft skills they need to thrive.”

Rob Godlonton, CEO at +OneX, adds: “The IT skills shortage is a serious challenge for our industry, but the scarcity of qualified mid-career professionals is more pronounced than ever. If we don’t tackle the shortfall of skills in roles such as software development, cloud architecture and security today, South Africa will fall behind the technology curve. The Work Experience Program is our strategy to strengthen the skills pipeline and ensure that South Africa can compete in the digital economy in the years to come and is in line with our purpose to create opportunities to improve people’s lives.”

Feedback from the first interns to join the +OneX Work Experience Program:

Luthando Zaze:

“+OneX has offered me amazing opportunities to learn technical skills such as cloud certifications as well as to develop the soft skills everyone needs in today’s workplace. I’ve even had the opportunity to work with an international client, which is more than what I expected I would be doing in my first job. While the company has a good vibe with approachable people, everyone takes pride in what they do, which challenges each of us to deliver great work.”

Maxine Gillwald:

“The +OneX Work Experience Program has taught me how to handle pressure and manage my time to deliver on challenging projects and deadlines. I love working here because the company really lives up to its ‘people are our oxygen’ ethos. We are given great mental health resources and work closely with a mentor that offers support and guidance.”

Robert Truter:

“The +OneX Work Experience Program has offered me great opportunities to develop capabilities such as collaboration, adaptability and problem-solving as well as to learn new tools and technologies. I’ve particularly benefitted from learning how to navigate through a large codebase and use git to collaborate with a team.”

Nicolaas Brummer:

+OneX has a working philosophy and culture like no other company I’ve seen. It equips us with meaningful, real-world skills through hands-on work experience, gives us opportunities to work on projects with global clients, and makes a significant effort to look after our mental and physical health.”

Click here, for an image of some of the first interns to join the +OneX Work Experience Program.