Business Development :
But now that we are seeing a lot of activity in the market again, we are facing a massive shortfall of qualified skills.” Oracle SA country manager Pieter Bensch says his company alone is looking for about 1 700 new employees across Europe, Middle East and Africa. “The skills shortage is a topic that arises in all our discussions with our clients,” he says. “The shortage covers various levels, from consultants to project managers.” Vanessa Raath, recruitment manager at It's About People, says a shortage of skills is a global crisis but one that is hitting SA particularly hard. The country is competing against developed countries for skills – Australia's Gold Coast, for example, is full of South African IT professionals.
People with an understanding of mobile and cloud architecture are in demand, as are storage and database administrators. Experienced software developers and testers are few and far between, says Matthee. Niche skills and emerging technology skills such as mobile are especially hard to find. “Hot skills include SAP, network technology skills, process management, application development, systems analysis and database development,” says Nkosi. Brent Flint, services executive for Dimension Data Middle East and Africa, says one of the major challenges lies in transitioning legacy skills to newer technologies such as converged networks. The key shortages from Dimension Data's perspective lie in cross-domain skills such as virtualisation, unified communications and collaboration, and IP telephony. It goes without saying that companies are struggling to meet their employment equity targets with a dearth of candidates emerging from tertiary institutions. “Employment equity skills are a really big problem. We are not seeing a representative number of non-white people entering the industry,” says Vercellotti.