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How has COVID-19 affected SA's ICT skills shortage?

By , ITWeb
Africa , South Africa , 06 Jul 2021
Adrian Schofield, production consultant at the IITPSA and co-author of the JCSE-IITPSA ICT Skills Survey.
Adrian Schofield, production consultant at the IITPSA and co-author of the JCSE-IITPSA ICT Skills Survey.

Wits University's Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE) and the Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa (IITPSA) have embarked on the 11th edition of the annual ICT Skills Survey.

Employers of people with ICT skills and ICT professionals are invited to take part in the poll.

The survey is a partnership between the IITPSA and JCSE, and their efforts will analyse the approach to filling the ICT sector’s skills from both employer and practitioner perspectives, as well as the impact of COVID-19 on ICT skills.

The pandemic, which derailed the ICT Skills Survey in 2020, is expected to be the catalyst for major changes in SA’s local skills landscape. A significant number of local organisations embraced the cloud to enable business as usual, while goods and services via digital quickly became the order of the day.

The IITPSA says this year’s survey will highlight the changes in ICT skills demand and supply over the past 18 months.

According to the IITPSA, these changes are likely to remain in place, but the question is – how have they impacted the skills landscape? Does SA have sufficient cloud and security skills? Which areas of development have come to the fore? And have areas such as the internet of things, artificial intelligence and robotic process automation been side-lined by more urgent priorities? With remote work now so widely accepted, will borderless workforces offer new opportunities for South African companies and employees?

Adrian Schofield, production consultant at the IITPSA and co-author of the JCSE-IITPSA ICT Skills Survey report, notes the 2021 ICT Skills Survey will help inform practitioners and employers about the skills in demand now and into the future.

“The clear message coming out of the past 18 months is that the world of work for everybody has changed. For the ICT skills environment, this means two things – the way in which ICTs are used across the board in any working environment has changed, impacting the need for support for people working from home.

“The other is the ongoing need for developing systems that are appropriate in the COVID-19 world and the ability to manage those systems in a more distributed environment than many organisations – SMBs in particular – are accustomed to,” he explains.

The JCSE-IITPSA Skills Survey assesses skills demand and supply from both a corporate and practitioner perspective.

In the corporate survey, the research looks at digital skills shortages and capabilities across key technologies in 20 industry sectors, while the ICT practitioner survey will assess the qualifications practitioners have, their approach to further skills development and how the pandemic has affected their work.

The two questionnaires are now live and can be accessed here, where respondents can register and then login to select either or both of the surveys.

* Article first published on

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