Fighting the IT skills shortage in SA

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A joint venture between Mimecast South Africa and MICT Seta is creating
quality IT skills for the South African market

At the end of November, six candidates graduated from Mimecast?s inaugural
Graduate Programme, where they received full in-house product and company
training, and were exposed to a broad spectrum of IT and business-related
disciplines through hands-on rotations and projects within various departments.

In addition, the IT specific graduates completed a Microsoft Certified Solutions
Expert (MCSE) qualification through Torque IT, something which these graduates
listed as a highlight of the programme.

Recruitment commenced in October 2012 via LinkedIn, various university
websites, and Mimecast?s own Careers webpage, and the campaign attracted
an overwhelming response with more than 3,000 hopefuls applying from around
the country.

Once all complete applications were reviewed, 150 candidates were invited
to Mimecast?s offices in Sandton, Johannesburg for the interview phase. Twenty
candidates were then shortlisted for the deciding round of panel interviews. The
final appointments included graduates from Gauteng, Limpopo, the Eastern
Cape and The Free State.

A year later, a total of six graduates have completed the programme - the
equivalent of 10% of Mimecast?s permanent workforce in South Africa. Four will
be reintroduced into the job market while two have been offered fixed term
contract positions with the company.

"The IT field is an especially challenging one,' says Melissa Cretikos, Head of
Talent at Mimecast. "Our programme has been challenging and is designed to
ensure our graduates leave Mimecast not only with cutting edge skills, but also
with the discipline, attitude and soft skills they need for a competitive advantage
over the rest of the talent looking for their first permanent position.'

The whole package

Attitude, as much as aptitude, played a significant role in selection.
"Globally, our teams are comprised of talented individuals who are highly
motivated and steadfast in their desire to offer a high standard of service,'
explains Cretikos. "Mimecasters, as we often call ourselves, are dedicated to
driving the company forward to reach ever greater levels of excellence.

Mimecast wants to elevate individuals who embody this culture. With IT
becoming more and more strategic in nature, the market needs more than just
technical competency and skills, but also passion and drive to truly add value.
We wanted the whole package and we are proud to say this year's graduates
have definitely hit the mark.'

Solid foundations to build upon

Maintaining its momentum in IT skills development, Mimecast South Africa
has already opened applications countrywide for its 2014 programme. This will
once again be supported by MICT Seta and Torque IT. The programme has been
extended to a full 12 months, running from 1 February 2014 to 31 January 2015.

Successful candidates will complete the full complement of training on
Mimecast and its products, soft skills and Microsoft Office. Those following the
Internal IT discipline will once again have the opportunity to complete a fully-
funded MCSE Certification through Torque IT.

For even deeper skills acquisition, each candidate will be offered a full term
placement in one of the following areas: Customer Experience, Sales
Administration, Business Administration, Internal IT and Marketing.

As this is a youth development initiative, applicants should preferably not be
older than 25. They also need to have completed some kind of Marketing,
Business or IT qualification within the last two years. Interested applicants can
find more details on the programme through the following links:

? Mimecast?s website: http://www.mimecast.com/About-us/Mimecast-career-
opportunity/ZA/Mimecast-Generalist-Graduate-Program---2014/ ;
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? LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/jobs2/view/9687788?
trk=jobs_biz_prem_srch,
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? Puff and Pass: http://puffandpass.co.za/mimecast-graduate-programme-
2014.
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Application forms are available through a dedicated inbox:
[email protected]. Only applicants who have submitted completed
application forms, along with their CV and qualification/s will be considered.

Photo caption (L to R) Mava Mkuzo, Lauren Melnick, Candice Paulse,
Ntsakisi Mabaso, Treasure Mushwana, Rudo Sadomba

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