Changing young lives one line of code at a time


As the People Operations Manager at Global Kinetic, I am incredibly proud to share the success of our internship program. Over the past four years, we have achieved a remarkable milestone: offering each of our interns a permanent position within our company. By providing additional training and guidance, we are not only shaping their careers but also building a brighter future in an industry that desperately needs skilled and experienced professionals.

South Africa faces unique challenges

The 2022 JCSE-IITPSA ICT Skills Survey makes for depressing reading. South Africa continues to suffer a severe IT skills deficit with a widening skills gap across the sector, from data scientists and software developers to network analysts and security specialists.

But the South Africa skills challenge is a complex one. While we have some of the most talented and creative people on the planet, our education system is severely under-resourced with fewer and fewer young people interested in pursuing STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects. What’s more, those that do graduate and gain just a few year’s experience are quickly snapped up by global companies taking advantage of remote work and a favourable currency exchange. And it’s not just remote working that is exacerbating our skills shortage, the JCSE-IITPSA report quotes stats that show 53% of university graduates and 43% of those earning more than R20 000 a month are considering immigrating.

Recently, the practice of quiet hiring has gained momentum. The practice is when organisations acquire skills without actually hiring new staff. This could either be through hiring short-term contractors, or more commonly, moving team members into different departments where their skills are needed. An example could be a data analyst working in the marketing department being shifted to the business analytics team.

While this may address short-term requirements, it is far from ideal. Teams are disrupted and more often than not team members still have to perform their usual roles as well as their new responsibilities. This has the potential to lead to burn-out and resentment, neither of which is good for the stability or profitability of a company.

Investing in longer-term solutions

Global Kinetic has obviously been impacted by the IT skills deficit. But rather than looking for a stop-gap solution, we decided to invest in a long-term solution that would not only help us as an organisation, but that would also make a difference in our local communities.

Creating internships was the logical path for the company. There was a strong sense from management, as well as our teams, that it fitted neatly into two of our core values: “Care and Support” and “Be a good citizen of the universe”.

However, there are many stories of failed internship programmes and since we wanted to get it right from the start, we chose to work with an organisation called Life Choices.

Together, we designed a one year learnership programme. Our interns spend six months at Life Choices Academy learning theory. The following six months are spent at the company where we start the practical implementation and learning of the syllabus. After the practical element, each intern needs to complete a practical assessment and, once passed, we are confident enough to offer a permanent role within our software development teams.

Challenges aren’t insurmountable when you have the right people

Working in a high-pressure environment, like software engineering, means teams are constantly facing tight deadlines and expectations of excellence. This doesn’t naturally create a space where team members can easily give of their time to help with an intern’s training.

Fortunately, as an organisation we place significant emphasis on training and development and have nurtured a culture of continuous learning that extends from the most junior team members to our CEO. This sort of mindset has transcended naturally to the internship programme.

We are now in the fourth iteration of the programme and it has grown organically since its inception.

One of our biggest learnings has been to integrate all interns into our project teams almost immediately. They attend all ceremonies that take place over a sprint, and are required to do nothing other than listen, observe and ask questions.

We have also built our own curriculum that focuses on agile methodologies and principles, and for the first few months the focus is purely on theoretical work before actively working on the project. By giving them the space to really get to grips with what we do without any pressure, we build more confident individuals. At the end of the practical training and technical assessment the interns qualify as junior technologists and are then active members of their project teams.

Every year that goes by brings new learnings and, while there have been challenges along the way, the reward has gone far beyond 19 new, well-trained individuals. Our teams have also benefited from the experience. So much so that we aim to work with the Department of Education to try and get our programme NQF aligned and qualified. This will mean we can expand and grow the programme, allowing more talent to be uncovered and hopefully even inspire other companies to join us.

Zip-Zap Circus School

 
 

The Zip-Zap Circus School, a social and professional circus, uses circus arts to inspire and empower children to ‘dare to dream’ and build a better future. Global Kinetic first met Zip Zap Circus in 2014 when we held our year end function at the Zip Zap Dome. Before meeting them, none of us realised that the circus focuses strongly on youth at risk, and that they offer multiple training programmes to children from all walks of life free of charge. Through its 10 outreach and youth programmes, Zip Zap impacts the lives of 1800 kids per annum. Kids are taken out of their daily lives into a world of fantasy where they are taught essential life skills, and where they are shown that they can be so much more than they thought possible. This caring, family-oriented environment has been made possible by the selfless hard work of Brent and Laurence, who have dedicated their lives to this cause.

Global Kinetic is very proud to be the technology sponsor of the Zip-Zap Circus School. We appeal to others, who have the means, to support the great work being done by the Zip-Zap Circus. The school depends on external and public funding, as they unfortunately do not get the same level of funding that other performing arts, non-profit organisations receive. Please help to keep the dream alive for our future kids.

 

Siyaya Skills Institute

Siyaya Skills Institute

Global Kinetic is currently sponsoring the training of 20 preciously young people in various aspects of software development and technology through the Siyaya Skills Institute. The Siyaya Skills Institute is excellent and providing the right foundation for these 20 great young minds so that they can build long and successful careers in the information technology sector.

Kay Mason Foundation

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The Kay Mason Foundation provides talented, under-privileged scholars access to quality education, psycho-social support and life opportunities that build tomorrows leaders of families and communities, South Africa and the world. Global Kinetic is proud to be a sponsor of the Kay Mason Foundation.

Global Kinetic Helps People Become Heroes Against the Odds

Siyaya Skills Institute is working with software company, Global Kinetic to help upskill people who battle with huge life challenges.  One such example is Esmerelda Page who, as a young girl, fell ill with Fibromyalgia.  The pain she suffered was so intense that she was quite unable to attend school.  Luckily, her hospital referred her to the Siyaya Skills Institute and now Esmerelda, a 32 year old mother of three from George, has met her challenges head on, conquered many of them and is living as normal life as possible.   She enlisted in the Wholesale and Retail programme with Siyaya in 2015 and is about to complete her second course in Business Administration.  She manages her condition now by taking medication daily and by keeping positive.  She even manages to earn some money by working at weekends selling Tupperware and Herbal Life at home parties.  What Esmerelda wants now is to get her driver’s license and a permanent job.

Global Kinetic, a leading software and development company is spending around R1.6-million this year in a bid to upskill at least 20 learners through the Siyaya Skills Institute.  The company believes in helping to build heroes in society by sponsoring physically, intellectually and emotionally challenged people to learn how to build long and successful careers for their future.  Siyaya is a professionally-accredited Training Provider which satisfies the requirements of the new Skills Development legislation in South Africa. Siyaya ensures the delivery of quality learning and maximum financial and strategic benefits for all levy paying clients.

Head of HR at Global Kinetic Ross Pickford says, “We used to fund learnerships which directly related to our core business in the IT arena, but we believe now that it is more important to provide training and support to those who need it most. “We wanted to work with the Siyaya Skills Institute because of their professionalism and the skill they provide in guiding us through our BBEEE and EE processes, which plays an important role in our journey as a South African company.

About Siyaya Skills Institute

The Institute was registered in 2001 and has been commissioned to draft some of the first generic training material for Services SETA (SSETA), enabling Siyaya to master the challenging world of Skills Development.

Today, Siyaya is recognized as an experienced and highly capable specialist services provider having successfully completed in excess of 9 000 national qualifications, assisting countless organizations in reaching B-BBEE and compliance objectives since 2001.

It provides reliable services within the regulatory environment, ensuring the delivery of quality learning while maximising financial and strategic benefits for all levy paying clients.

The Institute has to date secured an average of between 50% and 350% of levy payments back in respect of training for clients as well as securing company tax deductions of more than R300-million through the correct application and structuring of skills development interventions and government incentives.

The organisation’s focus is to provide solutions to its clients, assisting them in the integration of company compliance with the various prescriptive and elective legislations, while increasing the productivity and effectiveness of employees through quality learning experiences.

As an externally verified Level 1, B-BBEE contributor, Siyaya provides national services through branches in all major city centres in South Africa.

About Global Kinetic

Launching a rocket from a lighthouse

Achieving the seemingly impossible, a group of highly fuelled people work together at Global Kinetic to spearhead and develop brilliant products, including some that seriously disrupt the market.  One of the coolest places to work, this company has the nicest people creating amazing apps and products, which they do with flair and sheer professionalism, mixed with a dash of fun.

Steeped in expertise*, Global Kinetic makes both end-users and their clients equally happy because they get the stuff right every time.  They designed and created the world’s first fully immersive gamified children’s mobile banking app in Unity for Standard Bank as one example; in another they designed and developed PayToday, the Venmo for Southern Africa.  They’ve built slick and powerful mobile banking experiences for Old Mutual, Bidvest Bank and many more.   Global Kinetic is a leading software engineering company with a team of just under 100 tech-savvy and inspired developers, designers and creatives. They have great offices in Century City as well as in Palo Alto in the US.

*Global Kinetic (GK) provides solutions across the application stack, predominantly .NET or Java deployed to Azure, AWS or physical infrastructure on the enterprise side, and native or hybrid technologies on the mobile side for Apple, Android and Windows Phone.  GK implements SCRUM on all customer projects and provides professional services around the delivery, quality assurance, test automation, requirements gathering, analysis, UX/UI design and architecture.

https://www.globalkinetic.com/

Issued by Wired Communications on behalf of Global Kinetic

Global Kinetic Sponsors Bright Young Heroes

 Cape Town:  13 September 2017:  Simon Manda is one of 53 bright young people who are benefitting from a very special sponsorship from leading software and development company, Global Kinetic, which is helping scholars to access quality education and psycho-social support opportunities through its contribution to The Kay Mason Foundation.

Simon, 16, lives in Milnerton and attends Milnerton High School. He is not only bright and has passed all the assessment tests with Kay Mason Foundation, but is very special in other ways as well. When he is not studying, he knits squares for the initiative called ‘Mothers that Care” as part of his volunteer work required by the Kay Mason Foundation programme. Thanks to his mother who taught him to knit, he now makes blankets and beanies for the underprivileged in the winter time; and this year for the Mandela Day project.  Simon has been accepted by the Kay Mason Foundation and wants to study civil engineering.  He has shown tenacity and has the academic potential to become a bright young hero who will benefit from KFM training this year as supported by Global Kinetic.

On an ongoing basis, Global Kinetic provides infrastructure, hardware, Microsoft Office 365 licences and IT support to The Kay Mayson Foundation.  The annual investment is worth around R100 000 and is just one of Global Kinetic’s many social responsibility projects.  This IT support allows scholars to receive IT classes, online tutoring and the ability to do their research projects after hours.

Global Kinetic knows that while academic education is important, there is so much more a child needs to develop self-confidence, team work, leadership and problem solving.  These are a few of the trademarks of the KMF Scholar.  Global Kinetic’s Head of HR, Ross Pickford says: “We are really proud to be associated with the KMF support programmes as they enable scholars to become the best that they can be. They help to build tomorrow’s leaders of families and communities.”

CEO of the Kay Mason Foundation Noëline de Goede says:  “Thanks a million Global Kinetic, you are amazing!  We are absolutely delighted to be associated with such generous, caring and compassionate people.”

About The Kay Mason Foundation

The Kay Mason Foundation South Africa Trust provides holistic development scholarships to disadvantaged children from Grade 7 to Grade 12. Scholarships include access to quality education, additional tutoring, personal & youth leadership development and all the support to ensure each one reaches their own personal potential.

Potential + Good Education + Personal development = Youth Leaders & Positive Role Models

Kay Mason Scholars have moved through the program to become doctors, actuaries, professional sportsmen, musicians, teachers and programme managers of community development projects (amongst others) - Youth Leaders and Positive Role Models that affect real change in our communities.

About Global Kinetic

Launching a rocket from a lighthouse

Achieving the seemingly impossible, a group of highly fuelled people work together at Global Kinetic to spearhead and develop brilliant products, including some that seriously disrupt the market.  One of the coolest places to work, this company has the nicest people creating amazing apps and products, which they do with flair and sheer professionalism, mixed with a dash of fun.

Steeped in expertise*, Global Kinetic makes both end-users and their clients equally happy because they get the stuff right every time.  They designed and created the world’s first fully immersive gamified children’s mobile banking app in Unity for Standard Bank as one example; in another they designed and developed PayToday, the Venmo for Southern Africa.  They’ve built slick and powerful mobile banking experiences for Old Mutual, Bidvest Bank and many more.   Global Kinetic is a leading software engineering company with a team of just under 100 tech-savvy and inspired developers, designers and creatives. They have great offices in Century City as well as in Palo Alto in the US.

*Global Kinetic (GK) provides solutions across the application stack, predominantly .NET or Java deployed to Azure, AWS or physical infrastructure on the enterprise side, and native or hybrid technologies on the mobile side for Apple, Android and Windows Phone.  GK implements SCRUM on all customer projects and provides professional services around the delivery, quality assurance, test automation, requirements gathering, analysis, UX/UI design and architecture.

https://www.globalkinetic.com/

Issued by Wired Communications on behalf of Global Kinetic