There is no hiding the fact that South Africa is facing desperate times in the area of unemployment. In its Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS), released on 29 July 2014, Statistics SA revealed that unemployment among young South Africans has risen by as much as 4.5% in the period since the 2008.

The ICT skills shortage in South Africa is currently estimated to be around 70 000 resources and ironically, this is despite significant increases of students graduating from Colleges/Universities and organisations investing millions of Rand’s in training.

It just doesn’t add up: A skills gap, yet talent shortages?

The problem is that many companies recruit graduates based on their idea of a “perfect candidate”. They want workplace experience, proven technical skills and a glowing academic report, before they employ. However, the reality of employability is very different. Youth leaving tertiary institutions have no work-experience, no understanding of the mechanics of business and require development with personal and interpersonal skills. Let alone the technical expertise that they would ordinarily require to be productive at job commencement. There is a clear gap between tertiary education and a graduate’s ability to “hit the ground running” at the workplace. So we are left with wasted potential and very few people available to fulfil key positions.

Velisa Africa Academy is intrinsically involved in skills development and from our experiences we can clearly see the imbalance between the graduates’ efforts at securing meaningful employment and business’s hesitancy to employ. The lack of effective, intensive post-graduate training programmes aimed at providing career focussed technical expertise, together with work-experience and personal/business development, is, in our view, partly responsible for the failures to bridge the skills gap and if South Africa is to close the gap on unemployment and build efficient pools of employable skill, organisations must find new and innovative ways to resolve the talent shortages.

Velisa Africa Academy specialises in exactly this! We have proven graduate work-bridging programmes that contain a balance of hard and soft skills that underpin performance in the workplace. We have pinpointed the range of skills, behaviours and competencies required to be successful in key roles and thereby have improved our customers’ chances of hiring the right graduate talent – by almost 100%.

To find out more about how the Academy’s programmes can be of significant benefit to you company, contact us at: info@velisaafrica.co.za

Velisa Africa Academy is a 51% back-owned, 31% black women-owned, MICT SETA accredited, Level 2 QSE training academy specialising in skills development, especially within the ICT sector. It is a useful supplier in terms of all elements of the new B-BBEE scorecard.

Dee Cranswick