Collaboration is the solution

Oupa Mopaki

Oupa Mopaki, MICT Seta’s CEO

In ITWeb Brainstorm’s 2014 CIO survey, where 158 of South Africa’s top CIO’s were interviewed, 43% said they were are actively seeking specific skills. Despite the demand for skills, the supply is falling short – leaving the sector, as well as candidates who have the potential to flourish, at a distinct disadvantage.

In ITWeb Brainstorm’s 2014 CIO survey, where 158 of South Africa’s top CIO’s were interviewed, 43% said they were are actively seeking specific skills. Despite the demand for skills, the supply is falling short – leaving the sector, as well as candidates who have the potential to flourish, at a distinct disadvantage. 

Isibani is ITWeb Brainstorm’s skills development initiative. The plan is to identify, focus on and foster the most successful local skills initiatives, bringing the industry together to pool knowledge and resources to boost skills in SA. It will target young learners from disadvantaged backgrounds and encourage companies to step up and provide facilities, training, employment opportunities, time or funding.

The initiative held its second meeting in May this year where Oupa Mopaki, MICT Seta’s CEO as well as representatives from the industry sat down to share their successes and challenges in a concerted effort to collaborate and address the skills shortage as a united front.

According to Mopaki, the success rate of training initiatives is high but the rate of absorption into employment is at 54%. “Almost half of the learners do not land up with permanent employment. After completing the learnership programme they are sitting at home unemployed.” This is just one of the challenges raised, one which the industry is focusing on.

Matching skills with current market demands is another concern that was raised by industry. The Isibani forum will extend its communication to CIOs to gather insight into what their needs are.

Industry veteran Adrian Schofield, manager of the Applied Research Unit at the Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE) believes that if the resources provided by MICT Seta are not used effectively, “the industry has itself to blame.”

The Isibani forum will be meeting every month to ensure that industry collaborates on current projects but also to ensure that the communication with MICT Seta is open and that the resources available for skills development are used in the most effective manner.

To get involved with Isibani, please contact Jane Steinacker, editor, ITWeb Brainstorm, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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