Interview: BBD director Gus Pringle on SA's IT skills crunch

In this promoted episode of the TechCentral podcast, Duncan McLeod interviews BBD director Gus Pringle about the IT skills challenge in South Africa and the work that the company is doing to try to mitigate the problem.
Pringle explains that no matter how many IT skills are developed, this is never enough to fill all the positions available – an unfortunate dichotomy in a country with a severe rate of unemployment.
In the podcast, Pringle talks about the work that BBD is doing to develop new skills, including its initiative with WeThinkCode. He explains where the demand for skills in coming from, the sort of talent needed by corporate South Africa and the skills mismatch in terms of what’s available and what employers are looking for.
BBD, whose employees typically work on bespoke and complex systems, says developer skills are in high demand, are easily able to job hop for higher pay or simply emigrate – the latter having become a major challenge, particularly in the past six months, with a spike in talented coders leaving the country.
Pringle expands on BBD’s initiatives to retain talent, including setting up operations in markets favoured by South African expatriates, and bemoans the difficulty involved in getting talent from overseas into the country.
The conversation then turns to what schools and universities are doing right – and wrong – in nurturing fresh talent for the sector. What should they be doing to encourage talented youngsters and prepare them for the world of work?
Finally, Pringle talks about the challenge of bringing more female skills into the IT industry and why it’s important that the sector becomes less male dominated.
It’s a great discussion – don’t miss it.