Published On: Mon, Jul 15th, 2019

Tech-savvy youth to plug Africa cyber skills gap

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Cybercrime

Cybercrime

by AKANI CHAUKE 
JOHANNESBURG – YOUNGSTERS have been encouraged to consider taking up cybersecurity focused careers to address the widening skills gap and tackle unemployment.

The call comes as the globe marks World Youth Skills Day, celebrated annually on July 15.

It signifies a day where rising unemployment among the youth is highlighted and the steps that need to be taken to curb this challenge globally proposed.

Riaan Badenhorst, General Manager for Kaspersky in Africa, said rising youth unemployment was among the most significant problems facing economies and societies today, making active youth engagement critical to sustainable development globally.

“Ironically, we are also facing a skills shortage in many sectors, especially when it comes to IT and the cybersecurity space,” he said.

“Young IT enthusiasts however could hold the key to not only plugging the widening cyber skills gap, but also decreasing the overall youth unemployment rate.”

Badenhorst said combined efforts by industry and education were needed to enthuse young people about taking up cybersecurity focused careers.

“Through a combination of education and learning on the job, we need to nurture and entice young people into the profession before both the skills and the unemployment gaps widen even further,”the executive said.

According to the United Nations, at least 475 million new jobs need to be created over the next decade to absorb the 73 million youth currently unemployed and the 40 million new annual entrants to the labor market globally.

For Africa, the statistics are just as staggering, as it has the largest population of young people in the world, with approximately 200 million on the continent aged between 15 and 24 years.

Accordingly to Environmental, social and governance (ESG) annual IT survey, in 2018-2019, cybersecurity skills topped the list with 53 percent of global survey respondents reporting a problematic shortage of cybersecurity skills at their organisation.

Frost and Sullivan forecast a 1,5 million shortfall of cybersecurity professionals by the year 2020.

The firm also predicted that companies and public sector organisations will need 6 million security professionals by 2019 but only 4,5 million will have the necessary qualifications.

– CAJ News

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