Case study: Public-private partnerships for identifying digital competency needs in South Africa

Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, a not-for-profit social enterprise that builds African solutions for the global challenge of unemployment, has carried out a novel exercise to identify critical roles required to support the growth of digital economy in South Africa, as well as the offshoring of digital demand outside of South Africa.

The Harambee Mapping of Digital and ICT Roles and Demand for South Africa initiative, through a survey, has identified the roles, functions and competencies in demand and the certifications preferred by employers. The initiative also provides some clarity on the nature and the extent of local digital jobs in demand and the skill needs required to prepare the workforce.

Harambee commissioned Genesis Global Business Services to carry out the research using online survey, telephonic interviews among ‘C’ suite executives in sectors including automotive, banking, financial services, construction, education, global business, insurance, healthcare, medical, manufacturing, media, publishing, public sector, retail, eCommerce, technology, telecom, travel, leisure and utilities. Through the use of mixed methods, the survey data were analysed and integrated with quantitative and qualitative research into a single longitudinal market intelligence report, ready for interpretation.

Insights gained in this effort includes the following:

  • A list of digital roles in high demand at the entry, intermediate and advanced levels
  • A list of top in-demand vendor certifications
  • Most valued qualifications preferred by employers while hiring
  • The quantum of digital work outsourced from South Africa
  • Quantum of service provided to the international market
  • Volume of export revenue lost due to jobs outsourced in other countries
  • Demand and forecast of digital jobs suitable for youth in forthcoming years
  • The demand for an industry-led action plan for preparing workforce for the digital era

This study is a good example of an exercise that could be carried out to determine competency needs even without having to consult an extensive national level labour market information system.


The BILT project is implemented by

International Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training

with support of

Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training

and sponsored by

Federal Ministry of Education and Reserve

UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre

for Technical and Vocational Education and Training

UN Campus, Platz der Vereinten Nationen 1

53113 Bonn, Germany


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