Seventy graduates of the Huawei ICT Academy programme met with representatives from nine top South African technology partner companies, looking to recruit top ICT talent, 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.
Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Blade Nzimande was in attendance and 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. “I would like to encourage all the students at this job fair to seize the moment, ensuring that they 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,” he added. “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 4IR technologies such as 5G, cloud computing, AI, 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.
Students who pass the exam are invited to attend the job fair with the aim to market themselves and engage with Huawei and its partners for job placement opportunities.
“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,” said Wang Hui, Director of Southern Africa Enterprise Delivery & Service Department, Huawei South Africa. “Today, we hope to increase this number.”
“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.
Huawei’s approach to training and skills development is aimed at bridging the gap between industry and academia. Its programmes align training to the future of technology and the future world of work, as well as linking training to the provision of employment opportunities.
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.
“A World Bank study estimated that there will be a 10-million strong ICT talent gap in the next decade,” says Zhu Dianrong, ICT Academy Global Manager, Huawei. “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.”
“The Huawei ICT Academy programme is the solution for industry-academy collaboration for talent development,” he added.
For their part, Huawei’s technology partners at the job fair, have gained significant value from their involvement.
“Nexio has been a partner with the Huawei ICT Academy programme for many years now,” said EHOD: Network & Collaboration Services, Clive Scoble. “Over the years, it has proven a high-quality talent supply chain and Nexio largely employs its Huawei skills from the Academy.”
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. When I finished school in 2016, I 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 2nd 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.”
As well as Huawei, the below partners participated in the job fair:
- PC Palace Enterprise
- Reflex Solutions
- Master Power Technologies