Public and private partnerships needed in the ICT space to stimulate skills development
By Llewellyn le Hané
In the spirit of good corporate citizenship, organisations both in the public and private sectors have an active role to play when it comes to developing skills. Especially in the ICT sector skill development, training and knowledge transference as well as experience are essential.
This is why it can’t just be up to either the public sector or the private sector or even government to try and legislate skills development into happening.
In Namibia specifically, it has been found that many tertiary students have limited options when it comes to internship opportunities and acquiring experience. Having all the necessary theory is great, but as so often nothing beats real-world experience and practice. Graduates lack real world experience as they are not exposed to Work Integrated Learning. Both the public and private sector often complain that recent graduates lack work experience. This is where both public and private sector needs to jump in and see how programmes like Work Integrated Learning and collaborations can create a sustainable framework within which to develop the skills and experience of our future workforce in the ICT space. A sector that continues to see growth and is future-proof. This must be one of the drivers of industry 4.0, if we truly want to develop the Namibian ICT landscape.
Skills development for students to undertake an internship that enables them to apply theoretical knowledge gained from their studies in a practical setting. Tertiary institutions look to the various industries to provide controlled working environment in the form of job placement opportunities.
Although different organisations may have different requirements and arrangements as far as their WIL programmes are concerned, those that have incorporated this initiative in their operations have made a significant impact. In fact, most Namibian professionals started out as interns and with hard work, dedication and the right attitude they grew in their professions.
Green Enterprise Solutions (Green), a local company that provides Information and Communication Technology (ICT); is one of the organisations championing skills development. It has opened its doors to college and university students for internship opportunities.
It also works together with local, and national institutions including government to see how best skills and experience can be developed. It is our firm belief that working in unison with partners, businesses and Government in the broadest sense of the word will boost the development of Industry 4.0.
Green has created a space and will continue to develop a ‘hands-on’ educational framework for interns and young professionals giving them experience in technical and administrative programmes of ICT, namely in software development, infrastructure technologies, networking and cyber security, warranty services, project management, sales and marketing. In doing so and in engaging with tertiary institutions like NUST as well as Ministries like the Ministry of ICT, the programmes can be made as relevant as possible for both businesses and students. Making them attractive, well-rounded professionals that can help drive the ICT-sector of Namibia forward and contribute meaningfully to the economy.
Llewellyn le Hané recently said: “That as a Namibian company, it is important to actively participate in skills development, otherwise Namibia will not have local capable resources to contribute to the development of Namibia with bespoke ICT solutions. We need to work together with all stakeholders that have a vested interest in stimulating the development of ICT, including government.