Experts in IT have reiterated their calls to stakeholders in the education and training sector to provide potential employees with deeper skill sets in technology in a bid to facilitate effective industrial competitiveness.
This comes following another workforce transformation which is on the horizon and manufacturers experience a fourth wave of technological advancement: the rise of new digital industrial technologies that are collectively known as Artificial Intelligence (AT).
They are of the opinion that stakeholders in the training systems should focus on the driving forces of industries to enhance vision 2025.
“It is time to focus on providing job-specific capabilities, close the IT skills gap, and offer new formats for continuing education,” Dr John Msumba from Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology (DIT) told The Citizen yesterday.
“Industries will create many new cross-functional roles for which workers will need both IT and production knowledge. Many current educational programs at all levels provide highly soloed training and offer limited interaction among fields,” he added.
He says that to foster cross-functional knowledge and communication, all training institutes should also increase the number of interdisciplinary study programs that integrate IT and engineering, building on current programs in business informatics and business engineering.
“Traditional study subjects, such as mathematics and physics, should include additional IT-related and basic engineering coursework and require internships in manufacturing to promote a common understanding of the requirements, terminology, and culture,” he insisted.
For her part, Dr Margarett Atieno from DIT said universities should focus on building specific capabilities for the new roles and adapting their curricula to meet companies’ technological expectations for Industrial skills.
“The academic community should explore opportunities to begin developing interdisciplinary skills for students who are still in high school. Such courses could combine instruction in building and programming connected systems, this is what we are currently missing,” she said.
She added that these hybrid models were internationally recognised as superior approaches to professional training and are ideally suited for building capabilities related to industrial growth.
Prof Hellen Mollel from Arusha Technical Institute, emphasizes that education systems must address the significant shortfall in IT skills required for Industries.
“Learning institutions, along with companies, industry associations, and government, should encourage students to pursue courses in IT or computer engineering and dispel the misconception that these skills are relevant only to specialists,”she said.
Read More: AllAfrica