Monday, March 03, 2008

South Africa - skills shortage

South Africa: Country Must Develop ICT Skills - E-Skills Council

South Africa's Information Communication Technology (ICT) needs have to be addressed in order to further development and service delivery, according to the e-Skills Council.

"The focus should not only be on skills in the current period, but also skills that will be required in the future, including e-skills related to all aspects of life such as the arts and those required by the public sector to improve service delivery," said the Department of Communications, Monday.

In a statement, the department said, the council was established due to a lack of a coordinated, coherent and integrated approach to addressing the ICT skills shortages at all levels in the country.

To address the e-skills shortage, "the council agreed that there is a need to capacitate the working group of the council to collect, collate and synthesise existing data to arrive at a shared picture of the ICT skills needs of the country in the medium to long term."

The council also agreed to provide an analysis of the implications for future industry skill needs of technology trends, global industry changes, current and future challenges in the domestic economy and possible emerging markets for the South African ICT industry.

Also, the council will come up with a generic curriculum and content for the e-Degree that will ensure that graduates are job-ready in the context of South Africa's economic skills needs.

This would include an analysis of the type of ICT skills needed in the sector, as well as other economic priority sectors and consumers of ICTs for social appropriation.

The role of the e-skills Council is to provide advice on services and programmes that can have a measurable impact on ICT-related skills in South Africa.

The council further assists in addressing the challenge of ICT skills by ensuring that the country is producing industry-ready, better skilled and more adaptable workforce.

Government is also gearing up to make itself more accessible to South Africans through its E-Government initiative.

E-Government is the integration and use of ICTs within departments to fast track service delivery to the public through providing e-services in spheres such as education, health and administration.

The e-skills Council is composed of Ministers of Communications, Education, Trade and Industry, Labour, Science and Technology, and members with international ICT skills development experience nominated by the Presidential International Advisory Council.

Communications Minister, Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri chaired the inaugural meeting of the South African e-Skills Council held on Saturday. -

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