Technology firms say IT skills development is crucial for youth job opportunities in South Africa, as the world enters the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

This was emphasised at the Rage Expo, the country’s biggest annual video gaming, tech and geek culture exhibition, at the Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg this weekend.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is currently introducing technologies and trends such robotics, virtual reality and artificial intelligence and President Cyril Ramaphosa has recently indicated the importance of developing tech skills and expertise.

The head of technology resourcing at Arifzan, Gleniffer Govender, says tech firms are searching for youth with innovative ideas.

“The Fourth Industrial Revolution has been happening and for us to be beyond cutting edge we have to be in the game. From a recruitment perspective, what the market has right now is a gap in skills. SA has a lot of talent in IT, but identifying the talent and creating opportunities for them is where the gap is. We are looking for emerging skills and emerging technologies to be in the game. We need to make school kids aware of what is out there and create opportunities for people that they don’t even know exist in IT. With corporates and SMEs its challenge for people to understand that IT is the backbone of anything you do in today’s world”.