The Western Cape government is developing the first ever apprenticeship for computer technicians, which will serve as a pilot project for many more ICT related occupations in the future.
The apprenticeship will be based on an occupational qualification that is registered on the National Qualification Framework, meaning that those successfully completing it will receive a national certificate which is of an international standard.
The apprenticeship will form part of the Western Cape Government’s Apprenticeship Game Changer, which aims to place people in hands-on training opportunities. Globally, there is increasing evidence that an apprenticeship-based teaching and learning system is the best way to improve employment opportunities for young people, while growing the competitiveness of the economy. In Switzerland, which is number one on the INSEAD Global Talent Competitiveness Index, 70 percent of young people are involved in an apprenticeship-based learning system.
The Department of Economic Development and Tourism is currently in the process of appointing a service provider who will develop a detailed, integrated curriculum for the Computer Technician apprenticeship. In the new year, learning materials for learners, trainers and workplace mentors will be developed and the roll out of the first group of pilot apprentices is expected by mid-2019. The apprenticeship will be offered in conjunction with TVET colleges.
Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde said: “The Western Cape is home to a thriving technology and ICT sector and the development of this apprenticeship paves the way for young people to learn an important and sought after skill. We also envision this qualification as a gateway to developing more such apprenticeships across the ICT sector”.
Last month, a report by Endeavour Insight found that the tech sector in the greater Cape Town area (including Stellenbosch) is the most active in Africa. According to the research, 450 to 550 tech entrepreneurs employ between 40 000 and 50 000 people in the area.
Additionally, the Western Cape has attracted major international companies like Amazon, Microsoft and Panasonic as well as several international business outsourcing companies who have chosen to invest in the province.
The Endeavour report however found that one of the major concerns for tech entrepreneurs was finding and retaining talent in the sector.
Minister Winde said “The Western Cape is a really attractive destination for international tech and business outsourcing companies looking to establish operations in Africa. By developing talent, and establishing a skills pipeline of well-trained people from computer technicians through to programmers, we will be able to attract more investment and create many more jobs in this field.”
The Computer Technician apprenticeship will be made up of 63% hands on training, which sets it apart from many of the theory based courses currently being offered.
Once an apprentice has completed the training, they will be able to maintain and upgrade computers and their components, allowing them to identify and trouble shoot hardware and software issues, preparing them to start their own computer repair businesses, or work within a company’s IT department, providing computer support to employees.
This approach by the Western Cape Government is also fully aligned with the national Centres of Specialisation programme which is focused on developing 21st century apprenticeships based on the dual system of TVET education combined with practical experience, which is also currently in use in Switzerland and in Germany.
Spokesperson for the Ministry of Economic Opportunities
(Responsible for the Departments of Agriculture and Economic Development and Tourism)
Tel: 021 483 3550
Cell: 072 372 7044