by MTHULISI SIBANDA
JOHANNESBURG – SEVENTY (70) graduates are on course for employment at South African technology companies looking to recruit top talent in the sector.
The graduates of the Huawei ICT Academy programme met with representatives from nine top companies at a job fair held online.
The Huawei ICT Academy programme is run in 67 universities and colleges across the country and its graduates are given the opportunity to connect with prospective employers.
As well as Huawei, the partners that participated in the job fair are Altron, BCX, Master Power Technologies, Netcampus, Nexio, Nextec, PC Palace Enterprise, Pinnacle and Reflex Solutions.
Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Blade Nzimande, was in attendance.
He stressed the importance of these kinds of programmes, especially for the building of critical skills.
“To us, partnerships with our universities and colleges are a critical component of our skills development strategy,” he said.
Nzimande encouraged students at this job fair to market themselves and engage with Huawei and its partners for job placement opportunities and future skilling.
“Huawei’s vision and approach to training speaks for itself and must be commended. It focuses on skills training that is labour market demand-driven. This will go a long way to bridge the gap between industry and academia.”
Through the ICT Academy programme, Huawei trains university and college students in the latest technologies such as 5G, cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT) and big data.
Students that complete the course are encouraged to write the Huawei internationally recognised certification exam with Huawei carrying the exam cost
Since the start of the Huawei ICT Academy programme in South Africa in 2016, Huawei South Africa has managed to help more than 200 graduates to obtain job opportunities within Huawei and its channel partners.
“Today, we hope to increase this number,” said Wang Hui, Director of Southern Africa Enterprise Delivery and Service Department, Huawei South Africa.
“Huawei realised a long time ago that the key for our success, and the key to South Africa’s success, is in education and talent nurturing,” he added.
In 2020, when the country was hit hard by the pandemic, Huawei trained 8 000 people, including 4 200 students and 3 800 ICT professionals. Currently, Huawei is close to the target of 10 000.
Zhu Dianrong, ICT Academy Global Manager, Huawei, quoted a World Bank study that estimated that there will be a 10-million strong ICT talent gap in the next decade.
“There is also a lack of high-end innovative talent, applied talent, and professional talent and 70% of the ICT talent gap will be in emerging fields such as cloud, big data, IoT, and AI,” Dianrong said.
“The Huawei ICT Academy programme is the solution for industry-academy collaboration for talent development,” he added.
Huawei’s technology partners at the job fair, have gained significant value from their involvement.
Clive Scoble, EHOD: Network and Collaboration Services at Nexio, said the company had been a partner for years.
“Over the years, it has proven a high-quality talent supply chain and Nexio largely employs its Huawei skills from the Academy,” Scoble said.
Frans Nhlapho, who got an internship at Huawei through the job fair held in June 2021, spoke about his experience through the programme and inspired the graduates to never lose hope and pursue their goals.
He finished school in 2016, attended Tshwane South TVET College, studying an electrical engineering course.
“After two years of studying, I had a self-introspection of where I wanted to be in the next decade. It occurred to me that electricity was a concept of the second industrial revolution and the world’s moving towards the 4IR, that’s when I pursued ICT, so that I won’t be left out
of the future of work,” Nhlapho said.
– CAJ News