ICT Skills at the Intermediate Level in South Africa: Insights into Private Provision and Labour Market Demand

by AKOOJEE, S., ROODT, J. & ARENDS, F., 2007
Monograph, Cape Town: HSRC Press

Human capital in the ICT sector has become a key policy issue for innovation and economic growth. This makes it necessary to identify the skills currently available in the sector and to establish whether these are
in line with the requirements of the labour market. This research project assessed the demand for intermediate ICT skills in the South African labour market and, through a study of selected training providers, examined the potential of private provision of ICT to contribute to government’s national development objectives.
South Africa has the potential to become prominent in the services sector, making this an ideal time to develop appropriate skills. Opportunities are likely to be created in the call centre industry, telework, networking, business process outsourcing, and travel and tourism. There has been a dramatic increase in the demand for business-oriented ICT qualifications, which are important for trade. The private provision of ICT training makes the sector remarkably responsive to clients, be they corporations or the general public. Providers tend also to show considerable ingenuity in course delivery, offering a range of courses responsive to most levels of provision. The cost imperative, however, is fairly exclusionary. The regulation of provision needs to consider the internationalisation of the sector, specifically since it is already ‘regulated’ by international assessment and accreditation institutions.