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South Africa in Needs for Open Source Skills


TechInAfrica – According to statistics, the unemployment rate in South Africa in the third quarter of 2018 rose to 27.5%. On the other hand, the demand for skills remains high. To address the problem, there should be partnerships to focus more on providing graduates with real-work skills and placement opportunities because that is what the industry needs.

Grant Bennett, the Country Manager, South Africa & Sub-Saharan Africa of SUSE
Grant Bennett, the Country Manager, South Africa & Sub-Saharan Africa of SUSE via

Grant Bennett, the Country Manager, South Africa & Sub-Saharan Africa of SUSE said that the offered solution is not something new anymore since the demand for high skills resources is high.

“However, if we consider that our unemployment rate is a combination of deficient demand for labor, due to the increasingly skills-intensive orientation of the South African economy, and substandard supply, programmes that focus on in-demand skills and provide on-the-job learning are critical. And given that technology is mainly driven by open source innovation and software-services provide a massive market opportunity, championing these become critical,” Bennett said.

Realizing how high the demand is, SUSE opens a graduate program, partnering with Axiz and CTU Training Solutions. The program focuses on providing graduates with open source skills that help to uncover more jobs opportunities for them.

Magda Hanekom, Business Development Manager of Axiz stated: “The industry needs a platform to upskill the future generation with ‘real-world knowledge’ providing an opportunity to increase their worth and productivity in the eyes of any future employer. In fact, these programmes need to go beyond just providing graduates with the necessary skills, but it should pair companies with the right talent for their needs – be it cloud technologies, web technologies, open source, networking technologies, security etc. to harnesses much-needed skills in the interest of the industry as a whole.”

The SUSE graduate program helps its students to upgrade their skills and find a career in open source. The first year of the program has a 90% pass rate while 50% of them are already employed. Meanwhile, the program commits to placing the remaining graduates by early 2019.

“Linux and open source skills and experience are certainly in demand locally, but candidates are hard to come by but with the right programme and committed partners on board, we can start to close the gap,” Hanekom said.

The report on the 2018 Open Source Jobs Report found that open source jobs are currently in high demand. The rate is higher than before. Among the high demand, open source skill is on the top list, meaning that it’s a must for the most entry-level jobs. Furthermore, around 83% of hiring managers prioritize open source talents while at the same time providing their existing employees with open source technologies to further help them to obtain certifications.

“As an industry, we have a role to play and need to focus on ensuring that such training and certification opportunities are highly accessible to everyone who wants to seek them out. It is also for this reason that we will be focusing on 30 learners with no IT background for 2019, where this year’s graduates will act as mentors – ensuring the cycle of support, upskilling and job opportunities continue,” Hanekom concluded.


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