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Sintrex invests in 59 unemployed learners to help launch their IT careers

Sintrex[1] has kicked off a learnership program that has enrolled 59 unemployed individuals at various institutions based in Cape Town and Johannesburg. That’s more than 50% of the company’s current headcount. The leanership program was launched in 2017 with the goal of creating a talent pipeline of potential employees, either for Sintrex or other ICT companies in SA.

The learners will participate in a one-year generic IT qualification program, to equip them with skills for a productive and successful career. The learners study a combination of theory and workplace experience where they apply theory in a workplace environment. This will empower the learners to be workplace ready at the end of their studies.

At the end of the one year, learners will be evaluated not only by the institution but by Sintrex as well. To be eligible for an one year internship program with Sintrex, the learners will have to successfully complete the learnership and pass an internal assessment. Interns who then successfully pass the intern program are offered permanent employment at Sintrex.

Once employed permanently, the employee will start a career in system support as an operator with career paths that extend to engineering, development, product specialists or sales. Sintrex CEO Keith Mclachlan visited the learning institutions where he introduced Sintrex to the learners and handed each learner a welcoming hamper. Regular visits to the learners will ensure that both parties get to know one another better, and form a long-term relationship.

One learner, Abdul, explains that the program is structured to feel “more like a work environment than a classroom.” Beverly Mvumvu, another learner in the program, adds that “with the internships, we got a great view of how one should handle and act in a work environment.” “This program has broadened my sphere of understanding as to my chosen field and is a stepping stone in establishing myself as an individual – in the pursuit of prosperity,” concludes learner Lesetja Mogau Chuene.

“With the current decline in the currency and employment, I’m happy to be recognised as part of this program.”

For more information, visit the Sintrex website[2].

This article was published in partnership with Sintrex.

References

  1. ^ Sintrex (tracker.mybroadband.co.za)
  2. ^ Sintrex website (tracker.mybroadband.co.za)

What does the death of broadband privacy rules mean?

The blowback — and the accolades — came fast and furious after Congress completed its overturning of the nation’s strongest internet privacy protections for individuals. The House vote Tuesday allowing telecommunications companies to track and sell a customer’s online information with greater ease, after earlier Senate approval, is either freeing up the market or allowing internet highway robbery, making the rules more clear or doing away with them, depending on who is talking. The House voted 215-to-205, largely along party lines, in favor of dismantling rules created by the Federal Communications Commission in October. Those rules, which had been slated to go into effect later this year, had required broadband providers to get permission before collecting data on a user’s online activities.

President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill into law. U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle of Forest Hills has been one of the leading Democrats on the issue.

“Broadband providers see literally everything you do online. Without these rules, these companies don’t have to ask before selling all that information. They don’t have to take reasonable measures to protect that information when they collect it,” Mr.

Doyle said Tuesday in a speech on the House floor. He said Internet service providers have an obligation to protect the privacy of their customers. Mr. Doyle elaborated during an interview Wednesday, saying the vote blocks three simple rules. Those rules would have required broadband companies to ask customers before sharing web browsing histories, to have reasonable safeguards to protect their data, and notify them in case of a breach.

“This is a net loss for consumers,” Mr. Doyle said.

Republicans say they are correcting a problem caused by a power grab by the Federal Trade Commission which, they say, stripped power from the Federal Communications Commission when it reclassified Internet service providers as common carriers. The result was two different sets of rules for providers and search engines. U.S. Rep.

Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, said the FTC rules are ineffective because they applied only to service providers and not search engines or social media sites. The measure Mr. Murphy supported “requires all segments of the Internet to be on equal footing with a consistent set of privacy rules, ensuring the smaller ISPs play by the same rules as the bigger players like Facebook and Google,” said his spokeswoman Carly Atchison. Interest in internet privacy tools spiked in recent weeks with focus on the congressional action, according to a Colorado company that sells internet encryption services.

“We do not log anything,” said Caleb Chen, digital currency advocate at Denver-based software company Private Internet Access. “Privacy and trust is our reputation.”

Mr. Chen said the spike in inquiries to his company began around March 7 when repeal discussions got underway and the surge in interest was continuing. Despite the potential to increase revenue from the repeal, PIA has been lobbying against rule change, including taking out three full-page ads in the New York Times, he said.

“In the short term, we might benefit, but it’s really the beginning of a long, slippery slope” to shrinking privacy, he said. “We don’t want to go there.”

Virtual private networks, like the one marketed by PIA, keep secret the sites consumers visit and other information, making them an option to prevent internet service providers from selling personal information to advertisers and others. The vote in Congress repealed rules preventing the use of private data by outside agencies. Advocates for the rule change say the repeal will provide revenue for big broadband infrastructure improvements.

But David Farber, an adjunct professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University, said that may not happen without written agreements with internet service providers.

“Consumers need protection,” Mr. Farber said. “Unless there’s something in writing, sworn on a stack of FCC regulations, don’t hold your breath.”

With the rules, consumer social security numbers, location, internet browsing history and other private information could be delivered to advertisers for marketing purposes. Even the collection of such data poses risks, according to Evan Greer, campaign director for Fight for the Future, a nonprofit internet freedom group based in Worcester, Mass.

“Once that data is collected and stored, it’s incredibly vulnerable to hackers and thieves,” she said. “It’s putting people at risk.”

“Your Internet service provider is the portal that everything goes through. It literally sees everything you do. They know every website you visited and how many times,” Mr. Doyle said. People who buy that information from them “can see patterns develop.

They’d be able to know where a person is when they’re online. They’d know your financial information, your personal data and have information about when your children are on the web and when they’re not.”

A spokesman for U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Everett, said the legislation allows both the FCC and FTC to retain their authorities to protect consumer privacy. The congressman “supported the resolution because the original rule by the Obama administration was poorly drafted. It unfairly punished one segment of this critical and growing industry,” Casey Contres said. “When it comes to the Internet, we need more innovation, not misguided government regulation.”

Others are counting on the market to regulate itself.

“Individuals and businesses operating within the context of the free market have a shared interest in protecting consumers’ privacy,” U.S. Rep.

Keith Rothfus, R-Sewickley, said in a written statement. “This is demonstrated by the many Internet service providers that voluntarily include an opt-in option in their privacy clauses, which requires affirmative consent from the consumer regarding the use of consumer data and thereby empowers consumers to decide if and when their data is shared.”

Mr. Doyle said that can’t work when 82 percent of American households are serviced by only one provider.

“If you don’t like Google you can use Bing, and if you don’t like Bing you can use DuckDuckGo, but with ISPs” most people have no choice, he said. Having lost the battle on the House floor, Mr. Doyle is now seeking a presidential veto. He and U.S.

Rep. Mike Capuano, D-Mass., started an online petition at WhiteHouse.gov.

A spokeswoman for the White House did not respond to a request for comment.

The New York Times contributed. Tracie Mauriello: tmauriello@post-gazette.com.

Kris Mamula: kmamula@post-gazette.com.

Broadband round table discussion set

CAMBRIA — On Wednesday, Feb.

15, at 1 p.m. Wisconsin state broadband director Angie Dickison, will be at the Village of Cambria Community Room to have a round table discussion to share what area communities need to do to be recognized as a broadband ready community. In attendance for this open meeting will be State Senator Luther Olsen, and Representative Keith Ripp or a member of his legislative staff. This fall the Cambria-Friesland School District with support from the Cambria-Friesland Career Coalition petitioned the state legislature and Governor Walker to allocate funding to provide greater broadband (Internet) service to rural areas. Already other Wisconsin rural communities such as Clam Falls, Thorpe, Kronenwetter and Iowa County have been recognized as broadband forward communities and are targeted for these types of broadband/Internet upgrades.

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Governor Walker has pledged $35 million in the biennial budget toward increased broadband services to rural Wisconsin. These state allocations combined with the $45 million federal dollars awarded through the Connect America Fund Phase II program provide a strong hope for greater internet services in our rural communities and schools. Dickison will assist and share what local communities need to do be a broadband forward community and eligible for broadband expansion.

Area business, village, community leaders, and broadband providers are encouraged to attend.