As you may know, South Africa has been facing a major skills shortage over the last decade or more. As a human resource professional, you could familiarise yourself with the lists of Scarce Skills and Critical Skills to see where the needs are and how to address the issues more effectively. “Importing” scarce skills from other countries may seem like a good idea but it’s not beneficial in the long run. It is up to us as South Africans to take matters into our own hands and put employees on an NQF ladder of learning to ensure the future of our people.
Scarce Skills refer to the occupations in which there are a scarcity of qualified and experienced people, currently or anticipated in the future, either (a) because such skilled people are not available or (b) they are available but do not meet employment criteria.
The Top Ten Scarce Skills in South Africa:
(as found in the Government Gazette Nr 37678)
Physical and Engineering Science Technicians
Industrial and Production Engineers
Critical Skills refer to particular capabilities needed within an occupation, for example, general management skills, communication and customer handling skills, teamwork skills, problem solving [cognitive skills], communication [e.g., language and literacy skills] and technology skills.
A Shortened List of some of the Critical Skills in South Africa:
(A comprehensive list can be found here: http://www.home-affairs.gov.za/images/immigration_critical_skills.pdf)
CISCO Solution Specialist
Solutions Architects in Telecommunications and ICT
Integrated Developers (PHP, PERL, JAVA)
Medical Superintendant/Public Health Manager
Public Health Physician
General and Specialist Medical Practitioner
Land and Engineering Surveyors
Electronic Engineering Technician
Materials Engineering Technologist
Electrical Engineering Technician
Safety, Health, Environment and Quality Practitioner
Boilermaker (For Strategic Infrastructure Projects)
Industrial Machinery Mechanic
Double Coded Welder
Software Development Engineers and Managers
Systems Architects, Engineers and Managers
Foreign Language speakers for specialist language support and technical or sales support
Feel free to leave a comment in the section below or use ‘Contact Us’ to get in touch with any questions you may have around scarce and critical skills and how to combat the problem effectively.