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Kenyan firm beefs up skills for IT graduates

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 6 – Seven Seas Technologies, a leading local integrated software solutions provider has moved to bridge the skills gap between fresh IT related university graduates and the dynamic job sector requirements.

The move by Seven Seas Technologies (SST) is a first step towards ensuring that university students in Kenya pursuing information technology related courses are equipped with modern up to date skills for a modern job market.

Speaking during the ongoing e-Learning Eastern Africa Conference at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, Seven Seas Technologies CEO Michael Macharia said the firm had opted to invest heavily in training fresh university graduates to further raise their marketability locally and beyond.

As one of the major ICT players in Kenya, Mr Macharia explained that SST had taken up the challenge to train and transform students’ lives as part of the firm’s sustainable Corporate Social responsibility goals.

Among other benefits, university students attending SST’s training programmes under the firm’s Knowledge Transfer Centre enjoy free advice and training on Technology Industry needs, Certification in different vendor solutions, guidance on 4th year projects and internship opportunities. The students also enjoy invaluable mentorship and motivation talks from leading industry captains on their skills set expectations.

“Given that the current university education package does not meet the skills demanded by the dynamic ICT industry, we have taken it upon ourselves to sustainably beef up the training through our Knowledge Transfer Centre (KTC),” Mr Macharia said.

He added: “notwithstanding our efforts, there’s an urgent need to incorporate industry needs in University curricula across all our universities to ensure industry relevance.”

Arising from the firm’s effort, Mr Macharia further diclosed that 60 students drawn from University of Nairobi had already undergone training at SST’s Knowledge Transfer Centre with 20 of them already securing jobs with various companies while 7 are now permanently employed by Seven Seas Technlogies.

Besides beefing up the students skills, Mr Macharia also acknowledged the urgent need to collaborate and engage with the university academic staffers in a consultative process to develop an ICT standards and competencies policy for university lecturers.

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"Time has come for all the stakeholders in the Higher Education sector to join hands and tackle the skills deficiency problem to avoid sending out to the job market graduates trained under IT environments not aligned to the dynamic ICT Industry .It is costly to have fresh graduates, hired as engineers on the bench and not billable for several months before we can actively deploy them to customer environments, a practice quite the opposite in the accounting industry,” he stressed.

Besides the 60 University of Nairobi Students, SST has also taken a  further 60 students from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology who are now undergoing specialised training in contemporary ICT frameworks.

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