Dell opens new academy

The Dell SA Development Fund (DDF) was established to create literate and connected communities through education, supporting developing businesses, and investing in the community. This has seen the IT giant benefitting many South Africans with a percentage of every rand going towards local initiatives.

“We believe that in order for a company to thrive, it has to make a positive difference in the countries it operates in and the communities it serves. In fact, the DDF was created in the belief that improving social conditions is the best way to cultivate strong business conditions,” says Clerrene Bhabha, who provides support for the DDF.

Earlier this year, Dell announced the launch of the Khulisa Academy. It will open in 2016 in partnership with the department of trade and industry and the Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC).

Spotlight on skills development

The academy will comprise Grade 12 learners and graduates. Students will receive market-related salaries while studying and are guaranteed employment once their courses are completed. In addition, at least 10 students will be supported in the start-up of their own businesses during the period they are studying.

The academy stakeholders will be split 50% between genders and there will be an overall 75% black representation.

Basic level courses required by all students will gradually be accredited through the academy while specialist courses will be offered by various service providers. Once its accreditation is in place, the academy will be able to offer services to the wider market, which will result in income-generation opportunities beyond the funding it is currently receiving from Dell.

“There is limited awareness of HPC and careers within the ICT sector, which Dell hopes to bridge with this programme. The brand development, collateral, and marketing material will be developed by a professional team in line with the international Dell brand guideline,” says Bhabha.

She says that the primary objective behind this marketing is to incentivise quality entries to the programme. The current Dell internship and graduate sponsorship programme will be used as guideline to source participants.

“The establishment of the Khulisa Academy is informed by several interventions. The main one is the history of transformation of the company and how it aligns to the B-BBEE Codes of Good Practice. Secondly, the strategic partnership with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and the CHPC has provided a proven track record of the impact that technology has on the lives of the youth,” concludes Bhabha.