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Cisco tackles ICT skills shortage in SA

July 6, 2017 • Education, Features, Southern Africa, Top Stories

Cisco South Africa launches a Cybersecurity Experience Centre and Academy – the first of its kind to educate and fast track the skills needed to deal with the growing global challenge of cybersecurity. (pixabay.com)

Cisco South Africa launches a Cybersecurity Experience Centre and Academy – the first of its kind to educate and fast track the skills needed to deal with the growing global challenge of cybersecurity.
(pixabay.com)

Cisco South Africa has launched a Cybersecurity Experience Centre at their Johannesburg office. The Centre also incorporates an Academy which will offer a MICT-SETA funded certified Cybersecurity training programme for unemployed youth.

Cisco partnered with NIL, an authorised Cisco Learning Specialised Partner and MICT-SETA to offer security training for unemployed graduates. The move aims to equip learners with the relevant cyber security qualifications and bridge the unemployment gap.

Cisco will provide the content and facility, and NIL will facilitate the training. The first intake will be for 36 unemployed learners with a matric certificate with Maths and an IT subject. Unemployed candidates who have attended a college and completed a Comptia or similar entry level IT short course will also be considered.

“There is a skills shortage in cyber security, we know that there’s a skills shortage in ICT, in general in the country and if we look closely at cyber security and analyse some of the statistics coming out. The figures are anywhere between one and one and a half million opportunities right now globally for cyber security and engineers”, said Karen Sharpe who is the head of learning at NIL.

“On the one hand there’s a shortage of skills for cyber security but on the other hand, there’s an opportunity for unemployed youth. MICT-SETA is constantly looking at ways of skilling unemployed youth in the country and making them employable. Cybersecurity, of course, is a fantastic opportunity, it’s a growth area,  and there’s a demand for skills right now”, she adds.

The programme will include both classroom and workplace experiential learning to understand the South African ICT security environment in the context of Global network security and upon passing the exam. The graduates will receive an internationally recognised certificate “Cisco Certified CCNA Cyber Ops certification” which will be valid for three years. It is estimated that the course is worth between R60k-R70k per learner.

“On the 1st of September this year, we’ll be starting training of the 36 unemployed youth. We have a cyber operations programme that they are going to be trained on, and in addition to that they are going to be trained on skills like risk management as well as technical skills like being able to analyse the threat that their employer may be faced with,” she concludes.

Staff Writer

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