Opinion: Corporate Participation and the e-Skills Gap

With the job creation targets set for 2020, and a heavy emphasis being placed on the corporate sector, the GROW Academy provides a solution to a barrier impeding job creation and industry growth

September 19, 2011

Dr Bandile Hadebe of the Dept of Communications said in a recent interview with Brainstorm Magazine, “Seventy percent of employees in the developed world are information workers. So while we talk about nationalisation and developmental works, the world is moving ahead fast and if we are not creating jobs in the ICT sector and producing information workers, we will keep falling behind.”

Each partner of the initiative comes from an entrepreneurial background in technology. Unable to find suitably skilled staff for their own as well as their clients’ businesses, the partners established the GROW Academy to create the kind of information workers their respective industries require.

“We have identified a gap in the job market for people with intermediate digital literacy. Many functions in a knowledge-based economy do not require a computer science degree. What we aim to provide are entry-level staff skilled in specialised elements of digital literacy, termed digital artisans” says Colin Habberton, CEO of the GivenGain Foundation, South Africa, and co-founder of the GROW Academy.

Colin believes that part of the answer to job creation lies in the creation of new job types, and not just in creating more of the same jobs.

The job description of digital artisan will create jobs across a broad variety of sectors in the economy. The Internet provides great scope for new business opportunities. From online stores to social media based marketing and Google search engine rankings, every sector stands to benefit from skilled workers who can handle the demands these innovations place on businesses.

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