2010: IT professionals wanted - January 2010

The 2010 World Cup tournament in South Africa could mean more jobs, especially in the IT field where skilled professionals are needed - read more on Mywage South Africa

It is estimated that the direct impact of the 2010 World Cup tournament in South Africa could stretch through to 2015, with a steady increase in foreign tourists who will come not only during the soccer season, but also afterwards, due to positive marketing of the country. In predicting the latest forecasts about the economic impact of the tournament, Gillian Saunders, a tourism expert at Grant Thornton, expected the tournament to contribute R55.7bn to South Africa's gross domestic product (GDP), and 415 400 jobs to be created.


The contribution to GDP includes government's expenditure on stadiums and infrastructure, as well as the money for sponsorships and commercial rights.


However, one area that is in desperate need of skilled professionals is IT. Many of the big projects aimed at meeting the needs of the World Cup event require highly specialised IT skills. However, many of these skilled individuals have taken advantage of the competitive global market and found work abroad.


It has been estimated that about 11500 IT professionals will be needed to sustain and implement the World Cup. In October last year, a tour to South Africa by a Fifa delegation found that many areas in the IT sector required improvement which would require specialised IT skills.


But whether the IT posts can be filled remains to be seen. Apart from skilled professionals leaving the country, there is also a need for financing and mentoring of IT students entering the field.


Dawie Krouwkamp, of the CTI Education Group, said 32 academic institutions offer IT qualifications in South Africa and produce about 3130 graduates each year.


However, there are not that many government bursary schemes and internships within the private sector for IT graduates. He said this was why companies were worried that not enough work-ready graduates with adequate skills were entering the industry.


"Graduates from leading colleges in South Africa remain a key resource for the industry going forward. Selective industry colleges offer more practical, shorter courses, without the entry-level requirements of universities, making it an accessible option for many prospective students," said Krouwkamp. "To address the skills shortage in the industry, we need to make a concerted, proactive effort to inspire and motivate graduates to stay in South Africa and further enhance our industry," he said.

(Source: The Times and Sake.24)