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JCSE's Annual ICT Skills Survey under way

ICT tertiary leavers are unemployable as they lack soft skills, says JCSE's Adrian Schofield.

ICT tertiary leavers are unemployable as they lack soft skills, says JCSE's Adrian Schofield.

The Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE) is providing ICT skills practitioners and ICT organisations an opportunity to share their views and experiences of working within the ICT sector in SA.

According to JCSE, the 2016 edition of the JCSE Annual ICT Skills Survey, which is under way, aims to collect and analyse data from the survey respondents in order to create a comprehensive report focusing on vital issues pertaining to the ICT sector in SA.

The JCSE invites all practitioners of ICT skills in electronic media, information and communications technologies and electronics from the most junior to the most senior.

The centre also invites employers of any of these ICT skills in any sector of the economy, including business, government and civil society, to answer one or both surveys on its Web site.

Adrian Schofield, manager of the Applied Research Unit at the JCSE, says this 7th edition of the survey hopes to highlight skills availability, shortages and skills development within the ICT sector.

"We are seeking information from two groups of people; the first group is the employers who will respond on which skills are in demand and the challenges they face in the ICT sector.

"The second group are the practitioners who will respond to questions relating to how they acquire and update their ICT skills," he explains.

Discussing challenges facing the field, Schofield points out there is an insufficient supply of ICT skills at entry level. Tertiary leavers are unemployable as they lack soft skills that are not taught at university level.

"We need to integrate more practical experiences in the final year of tertiary such as learnerships and internships," he advises.

The JCSE is running the survey in partnership with the Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa, the Information Technology Association and Eduflex's Virtual Assessor survey application.

Schofield says the survey's cut-off date is 30 April, and the JCSE hopes to publish the new report in May 2016.

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