ICT industry sheds jobs despite skills shortage

The information and communications technology (ICT) industry is shedding jobs despite a skills shortage, trade union Solidarity said on Thursday (17 May 2012).

“ICT companies retrench highly skilled employees for various reasons such as employment equity, thereby creating a skills shortage which in turn leads to outsourcing, inflated salaries and recruitment from abroad,” said spokesman Marius Croucamp in a statement.

On Tuesday, black empowered technology group Gijima said it would retrench an undisclosed number of workers to improve efficiency and reduce costs.

Gijima would not say how many employees would be affected “due to the consultative HR (human resources) processes that we need to follow”.

The company said it intended reducing staff costs by between eight and 12 percent. This would be completed by mid-August and the business restructuring would come into full effect in July.

Croucamp said Gijima had already retrenched about 200 employees since December and planned to retrench another 200 employees by mid-August.

“Gijima has retrenched approximately 150 permanent employees and 50 contract workers since December,” he said.

The union would meet with Gijima next week to discuss the job losses.

“A number of Gijima employees received a letter yesterday [Wednesday], informing them that a new retrenchment process was in the offing,” Croucamp said.

Solidarity said retrenchments were taking place at Nokia Siemens Networks while the State Information Technology Agency (Sita) was restructuring. It was not yet known if the restructuring would involve retrenchments.

“Sita’s restructuring process affects approximately 40 percent of its 2200 employees,” Croucamp said.

“Meanwhile, Nokia Siemens Networks is also carrying out large-scale retrenchments in South Africa, Nigeria and Germany. Approximately 160 employees will be affected by the retrenchments.”

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ICT industry sheds jobs despite skills shortage