File image: IOL

JOHANNESBURG - Shortage of skills in the ICT sector poses a serious impact on businesses, the 2017 Joburg Centre for Software Engineering(JCSE) ICT Skills Survey recently revealed.

According to the report, 75% of respondents said the skills shortage in the sector has an effect on their business. This is an increase from last year's 71%.

This record has led JCSE to ask what would be the potential improvement in the ICT economy if the skills gap could be closed significantly? 

In 2009, 75% of research respondents also expressed the same effect of skills shortage.

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The report says, "Overall, the ICT skills shortage continues to constrain South Africa’s capacity to increase economic activity and create jobs".

"The increase in respondents recruiting overseas suggests the continued paucity of locally available candidates with experience, combined with increased popularity of the “critical skills visa” as a key to medium term residence in South Africa," the report revealed.

The priorities that this research reveals are: the need for investment in teaching and training; the potential contribution to society that filling the ICT skills gap will make; the benefits that can come from better coordination and planning; the urgent need to move plans from discussion to execution.

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"The 2017 has seen continuing political uncertainty amid the escalating leadership battle in the ANC, a ratings downgrade, corporate failures in the fight against corruption and “state capture”, delays in the migration to digital terrestrial TV and rolling out of broadband infrastructure. In spite of these blockages, the ICT sector continues to innovate and bring solutions to the social and commercial tables," the report read.

- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE