Job-ready graduates are key
In SA, several educational institutions continue to graduate students who are not job-ready.
This is according to the deputy minister of communications, Dina Pule. She was speaking last night at the gala dinner of the ICT Career Expo 2010. “This is of great concern both to the government and the private sector.”
The gap and mismatch between graduate skills and industry needs amounts to a waste of our resources, as well as impeding our goals to become part of the leading ICT countries, the deputy minister added.
She said it angers and disappoints graduates with a degree in one of the various ICTs to discover that their skills sets are not aligned with ICT sector needs. “If you consider the financial loss to the families, country and ICT sector, particularly during tough economic times, it hurts,” she said.
“The ICT Career Expo brings together key stakeholders from government, industry, learning institutions, and most importantly, those who seek to make a career within the ICT sector,” said Pule.
“This a collective effort to educate and develop ICT skills of current and future generations of school-leavers who will be hampered if they are not supported by the employers,” she pointed out.
“It is essential that the business sector and professional organisations, including public sector employers, partner with us to open up workplaces for learnerships and workplace experience in order to improve the employability of young people,” said Pule. “Employers must ensure that workplaces are also centres of training and platforms to nature talent.”
Pule commended the convergence of multi-stakeholder partnerships for making make this initiative and broader objectives of the sector possible and achievable. “The collaboration between the e-Skills Institute, Department of Higher Education and Training (Dohet), Further Education and Training Colleges (FET), and ICT industry stakeholders will bridge the skills gaps especially in the ICT industry in this country, she said.
Pule added that locally, the memoranda of understanding between the department of communication and Dohet, Cisco, International Computer Driving Licence and FET Colleges is not only of strategic importance to the sector, but “such partnerships would take the e-skills initiatives and ICT sector growth and development to a higher level of delivery and outcomes”.
Building on this partnership, SA's collaboration with the South Korean government in the area of ICTs has given the sector the much needed international best practice skills and inputs.
“For example, the South Korean inputs by way of their professors teaching embedded systems training and the establishment of state-of-the-art computer laboratories with hi-tech equipment,” she said.
The ICT Career Expo 2010 comes as a follow-up to the e-Skills Summit convened by the DOC.