I felt an immense sense of joy when I learnt that our well established educational institution, The Altech Academy, had been renamed the Bill Venter Academy with immediate effect.
This move, to embrace all of the academic related operations in the greater Altron Group under a single new institution, is a great honour for me and I am grateful to Craig Venter, Group Executive Altron TMT and CEO of Altech, as well as to the Altron CE, Robbie Venter, for bestowing it on me.
As founder and most senior executive of the Altron group for the past 50 years, I have always believed firmly in the enormous value of all types of education, and therefore, to be so intimately involved with this highly recognised institution of higher learning, is of immense satisfaction to me and very close to my heart.
I am especially pleased that, from the very beginning, it was established to be an academy of learning offering an environment in which both the staff and the student talent are nurtured, educated and celebrated.
For the past five decades our group has been an exciting and innovative leader in all aspects of high technology, particularly in the ICT and power engineering sectors.
We are naturally pleased with our achievements over these five decades as one of Africa’s leaders in this field, but, in retrospect, it must be said that we pride ourselves even more in the loyalty and quality of our people.
Our Academy was established some six years ago to meet not only the unquenchable thirst for knowledge in this country, but more particularly, the significant challenge of helping to meet the skills shortage in South Africa. As a result, this gave rise to the formation of our virtual institution, largely specific to our industry, and above all, enabling us to develop and foster our talent within the greater Altron group.
A strong infrastructure now supports our academic endeavour and teaching prowess, while research excellence, focused on the advancement of human knowledge, underpins all of our activities. Our staff and students alike are given the best intellectual, social and physical environment in which to study, engage in research and teach in the cutting edge of their disciplines, and within world class facilities. Throughout it all, we will continue to strive to ensure that our students form a close relationship with our group that they will wish to continue throughout their working lives.
Right from the very beginning, several strategic enablers were established for our Academy that underpin our key priorities and support a solid, institutional environment. These principles include, inter alia, business excellence; commitment to equality and diversity; transparency, robustness and efficiency of decision making processes; ensuring institutional sustainabilityand a firm commitment to consultation with staff, students and alumni.
We knew that our strategic plan for an academy of this nature was ambitious and we wanted it so. The past six years have defined how we could be successful, not only as an African leader in technology, but as a leader within a challenging and changing higher educational environment. The plan was devised to enrich the experience of our staff, our students and all of our stakeholders and has been developed and perfected through an extensive consultation programme that has also engaged extensively with alumni and external partners and influencers.
When considering the establishment of an institution some years ago, we found that more and more winning corporations around the world were setting up their own educational academies. This made a great deal of sense since a company needs to develop its people at all levels from an entirely unique perspective. The Academy was, therefore, set up to provide education and training that is specifically relevant to the various operations of our group and the high-technology industry as a whole.
In this regard, it was felt that our institution, based at our Bytes operations in Midrand, near Johannesburg, should not just be a broad-spectrum facility, but rather one that has been tailor-made to meet the stringent requirements of both our group and the industry alike.
Bill Venter Academy candidates are not only given the opportunity of developing their skills and enhancing their knowledge and careers, but through continual training and learning of new and updated technologies from abroad, will ensure that they excel in our fast-paced and ever evolving industry and benefit the growth of our group as a whole.
The Academy’s halls of learning will, therefore, reach out to all people who have been earmarked as prospective leaders in our group and to Altron employees who wish to enrich their knowledge and career development. The Bill Venter Academy will thus provide exceptional learning programmes that are outcome based and integrated within existing and proven educational frameworks.
The Academy is naturally proud of its partnerships with formidable higher-learning institutions aimed at developing a world-class, company and industry specific virtual business school offering superlative programmes leading to diplomas, certificates and degrees. These credible programmes are, of course, accredited by an international centre of excellence in the development of the management of technology, innovation, people and systems thinking.
This programme, which will guide the Academy’s work over the next few years, is Altron’s latest and probably most valuable ingenuity. I, therefore, invite you to peruse this prospectus, where you will surely find the necessary tools to carve out a career path for yourself whilst we continue to cultivate globally-recognised skills within our dynamic organisation and our remarkable cross cultural nation.
Dr. Bill Venter
Chairman of Altron
Patron of the Bill Venter Academy