How South Africa is tackling the growing tech skills gap

Government initiatives, vendor-sponsored training programmes, and alternative education approaches all are needed to train workers for rapidly changing demands of tech jobs

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Finding staff skilled enough to meet the rapidly changing technology needs of enterprises is tough everywhere. Finding talent pools that are broad and deep enough to meet the demands of digital transformation and allow enterprises to scale is even tougher, especially in developing markets.

Respondents to a 2018/2019 study by the International Finance Corporation cited a significant gap in supply and demand across all skill levels in all regions, with a lower availability of skills in Sub-Saharan Africa than in other markets and significant gaps in African supply of intermediate and advanced skills.

According to the study, 80 percent of industry participants interviewed believe that an undersupply in digital skills would hamper expected economic growth and, of the companies surveyed who only recruit internationally for digital talent, 70 percent do so because of the lack of skilled locals.

South Africa is looking to remedy that with an approach that is tailored for digital transformation - a foundational change in how companies use technology, workers and business processes to improve performance and services.

Government steps in with new programmes

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