News & Updates

  • Will free higher education solve the telecoms skills shortage

Will free higher education solve the skills shortage?

On 16 December 2017, President Zuma announced that the government would subsidise free higher education for poor and working-class students. President Zuma said, “Having amended the definition of poor and working-class students. The government will now introduce fully subsidised free higher education and training for poor and working-class South African undergraduate students. Starting in 2018 with students in their first year of study at our public universities.”

According to the President, poor and working-class students are “students currently enrolled at Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges or university students from South African households with a combined annual income of up to R350,000.” Students attending these colleges or universities will now receive government grants, not loans. The grants will also cover accommodation, food and transport costs.

Will this Initiative be the Silver Bullet for Skills Shortages?

As much as we applaud the roll-out of free higher education. We are not convinced that this initiative will be the sole solution to the skills shortage found in certain sectors. Particularly in the telecommunications sector.

The telecommunications industry, particularly the provisioning of VoIP services, is growing quickly but skills are scarce. This obviously creates opportunities and jobs for individuals with technical and development (programming) skills. But companies still struggle to find candidates with strong skills and practical experience.

According to the Department of Labour, the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector is “the ‘producer sector’ of the OCT (Overseas Countries and Territories) goods and services which are applied in countless business and personal environments.” The ICT sector is one of South Africa’s top employment sectors, and development skills are some of the most wanted skills according to Career Junction. But the demand is not being met – the demand for IT skills is about 27%, and the supply is only about 7% (Business Tech).

At Switch Telecom, we continually experience this shortfall. There seems to be a big gap between the demand for skilled developers and engineers and the number of people who measure up.

Across the industry, graduates don’t have the necessary basic technical skills or there just aren’t enough skilled individuals to meet the demand.

Offer Free Training for Specific Industries

Free education at TVET colleges and universities will not readily solve the telecoms skills shortage. It would be far better if more people were offered free training geared towards a specific job or industry.

The government should engage further with the business sector on which skills are most needed. We believe that specialised courses with the focus on practical experience. Subjects with a technical focus would better serve the youth than certain degrees currently on offer.

We would also like to know if potential ICT sector candidates are being properly informed about their options to become, for example, PHP developers or asterisk engineers. Are students being guided onto the correct career paths?

The government should focus more on identifying the industries where skills are most needed and allocate interested students to these sectors.

At Switch Telecom development and training is one of our core values. We continually contribute to the upskilling of our staff and we contribute to external ICT training initiatives. Unfortunately, these measures can’t fill the void when it comes to the skills shortage in our sector.

Free tertiary education is a step in the right direction. There is, however, so much more that can and should be done to solve the skills shortage in the Telecommunications sector.

January 12th, 2018|Latest News|

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

News and updates

Flat Rate Calling; Save Big on Call Costs

Switch Telecom’s Flat Rate Calling packages (Unlimited VoIP) cost a fixed, affordable monthly fee - removing the expensive variable costs that usually come with making calls in South Africa. Unlimited VoIP isn’t only the next best thing for South Africans; it should be the norm. Flat rate (Unlimited/Uncapped) calling is already a prevalent offering in international markets. And makes sense for home and business users in South Africa, too. It brings down communication costs and makes it easier to work [...]

November 17th, 2023|Categories: Latest News|

Cloud Phone Systems

Cloud phone systems or hosted switchboards have emerged as a game-changer in the rapidly evolving business communications landscape. With the digital transformation of the workplace, traditional phone systems are becoming obsolete, making way for cloud phone systems. This shift to the cloud offers numerous advantages that can revolutionise how businesses communicate, collaborate, and stay connected. In this blog, we will explore the many benefits of adopting such a system. Cloud Phone Systems are Cost Efficient and Scalable One of the [...]

October 30th, 2023|Categories: Latest News|

PHP Developers Wanted – Unlock your potential when you join Switch

Switch Telecom is hiring PHP developers – here’s why you should join the team. In today's uncertain times choosing the right company to work for can be stressful. It can also make a big difference to your career in the future. Individuals in the technology industry, and PHP Developers particularly, are looking to join companies that value their skills but also provide an environment where they can thrive and grow. At Switch Telecom, innovation is not just a catchphrase; [...]

September 28th, 2023|Categories: Latest News|

VoIP Fraud – What you need to know!

The last couple of years have significantly changed the way we live and work. They have also led to an increase in online fraud. South Africa has become a large target for international syndicates. These syndicates are taking advantage of the country’s advanced telecommunications infrastructure to carry out their criminal activities. This was highlighted by the recent attack on a prominent ISP's network.Switch Telecom has always gone to great lengths to protect our network and our client’s services. We continue [...]

April 26th, 2023|Categories: Latest News|

Browser-Based Softphone – New Features

The browser-based softphone is a web-based application that allows users to make and receive phone calls directly from their web browser. In today's fast-paced world, communication has become an essential part of our lives, both personal and professional. The rise of remote work and the need for businesses to stay connected with their employees and clients has led to the advancement of communication technologies. One such technology is the Switch Telecom browser-based softphone which uses  Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) technology [...]

March 16th, 2023|Categories: Latest News|

Uncapped VoIP is Here!

Uncapped VoIP isn't the next best thing; it should be the norm when it comes to the VoIP solution you choose. Switch Telecom has now launched VoIP packages that allow for unlimited calling to South African local, national and mobile calls. What's more it includes a number of popular international destinations as well. Pay a fixed monthly fee based on the number of concurrent calls you need and call to your heart's content. Uncapped VoIP or Unlimited VoIP has [...]

February 7th, 2023|Categories: Latest News|

Your VoIP Service and the Festive Season

Your VoIP service is going to save you a lot of money during the festive season. Using your VoIP service to contact friends and family. Calling internationally can be cheaper than calling them on a local mobile number. (This obviously depends on the destination you’re calling). There are also numerous ways to stay connected to your customers without being tied to an office desk. This means you can relax and unwind with the knowledge that your customers can still [...]

December 3rd, 2022|Categories: Latest News|

Mobile VoIP Softphone – The Smart Choice

What is a Mobile VoIP Softphone? A mobile VoIP softphone or softphone is an application that mimics the functionality of a physical desktop phone. The software can be used on your desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. The softphone is a cloud-based application linked to a “real” telephone number. This means your mobile VoIP softphone is a completely accessible landline or switchboard extension; just on your cellphone. Softphones are a great choice for businesses in need of fluid communications that function [...]

November 11th, 2022|Categories: Latest News|

Title

Go to Top