Marketing & Media trends
CSI & Sustainability trends
- Zyaan Davids Anter
- Nicholus Funda
- Ntombifuthi Ntuli
- Nazeema Mohamed
- Anja Mulder
Construction & Engineering trends
- Bouwer Serfontein
- Emily Clark
- Chris Malan
- Dhesigen Naidoo
- Taru Madangombe
Energy & Mining trends
- Siyamthanda Williams
- Daniel Goldberg
- Marius Reitz
- Berniece Hieckmann
- Travys Wilkens
- Rutendo Hlatshwayo
- Ruellyn Willemse-Snyman
- Andrew Möller
- Daniel Kibel
HR & Management trends
- Sandra Crous
- Jade Duckitt
- Patrick Bracher
- Kiasha Nagiah
- Morne van der Merwe and Wildu du Plessis
- Athi Jara
Logistics & Transport trends
Marketing & Media trends
- Louise de Beer
- Crispin Inglis
- Derek Lategan
- Nonhlanhla Mayisela
- Tanja Lategan
- Nomzamo Radebe
- Elize van der Berg
- Gavin Jones
- Gerhard Zeelie
- Beate Stiehler-Mulder and Mariëtte Frazer
CSI & Sustainability jobs
- Senior Sustainability Consultant and Report Writer Johannesburg
- Account Manager Johannesburg
- Face-to-Face Fundraiser Johannesburg
- Opportunities Manager Cape Town
- Information Strategy Manager Cape Town
- Innovation Lab Coordinator Durban
- Innovation Lab Manager Durban
- Project Manager Gansbaai and surrounds
- International Programme Operations Director Cape Town
#BizTrends2020: Tech skills shortage, is youth the answer?
Ryan Geel, head of partnerships and placements, Life Choices Academy
As it stands, too much bargaining power lies with the employees, which is not a favourable position for the tech industry to be in. The natural process of demand and scarcity of skills increases the cost to company and salary expectations for developers. It may be seen as a great time to be a developer in South Africa, however, it is a mostly challenging time for tech businesses. The natural impact of this can be seen with offshore tech services becoming an increasingly prevalent choice for South African companies, since they offer a sustainable service at a more affordable rate.
South Africa is in the grip of an unemployment crisis with job opportunities at an all-time low. The country’s tech industry is facing a crisis of skills shortages and it points towards the fact that we are missing a vital cog in this equation.
Based on Stats SA’s Labour Force Survey (LFS) for Q3 2019, our country has the highest recorded statistic for unemployment, which is at 38.5%. It is the highest in recorded history. In addition, the unemployment rate for youth (younger than 25) is 58.2%. This jumps to a massive 70% if discouraged workers are included.
This is clear evidence that we as a country, along with our economy, are running in a reactive state. There is no proactive approach to the problems we face and there hasn’t been for some time. To consider a proactive approach, we need to identify our problems and accept accountability. We cannot blame the government as they have proven time and time again that they do not know how to solve or at the least, remedy the challenges we face. It requires a multi-focused approach with the ability to combine the efforts of both the formal and informal education sector, corporate tech entities and government to develop a strategy to solve this complex challenge.
Where to now?
Talent is equally spread across all regions and communities within South Africa. The challenge is that sustainable opportunities are not equally spread.
Most youth from low-resourced communities can’t access or afford tertiary education, nor the cost of living without earning an income for the duration of study. In addition to that, formal education is not agile enough to respond to industry needs.
Perhaps we need to challenge the premise that an individual’s ability to add value to the economy is solely based on one’s ability to obtain a diploma or degree. And that youth education is solemnly a task for educational institutions.
By offering the youth platforms and opportunities to ramp up their skills within industry and get paid at the same time, one could argue that we would kill two birds with one stone. Industry needs to get more involved in developing innovative models to educate and equip youth for employment in areas of high demand. The approach to partnerships should be fluid and multi-faceted, following a fresh and current perspective. This should include youth, upskilling organisations, corporate South Africa, and local government to develop an ecosystem of support which will alleviate the pressures we all are faced with. This would ensure that the system is ever evolving, on trend, and focused with the ever evolving needs of the industry at its core.