COMMENTS ON NATIONAL SCARCE SKILLS LIST: TOP 100 OCCUPATIONS IN DEMAND
The South African College of Business (SACOB) has the following comments on the National Scarce Skills List:
1. Research Study
There existed an urgent need in South Africa to identify the most critical scarce skills and occupations required by the South African Government as well as the private sector to successfully implement planned growth strategies, fast-tracking service delivery and producing high quality products and services. The lack of skilled people hampering economic growth in South Africa have necessitated the Minister of Higher Education and Training to produce this National Scarce Skills List.
This document provides a list of the top 100 occupations in the country that are considered to be in short supply, accompanied by an explanation of the methods and processes followed in compiling the list. The purpose of the list is to inform, inter alia: human resource planning and development; resource allocation and prioritisation; the development of relevant qualifications, programmes and curricula; and international recruitment strategies.
The list can be accessed :
The recommendations and strategies of the research studies and the national economic growth framework that informed this list of national scarce skills is very comprehensive and provided a good foundation to identify and focus on the critical skills which will take our country forward over the next 2 decades.
2. Improved Public Sector Service Delivery Whilst the list identifies the critical managerial, project management, technical and accounting skills and occupations necessary to ensure improved service delivery, the skills and occupation sets (e.g. risk, audit, governance) that supports the governance and compliance framework for effective delivery is not on the list. Against the background of deploying more skilled resources into the public sector what support programme is envisaged by Government to capacitate and enhance the current or existing skills in the public sector without further compromising service delivery.
3. Entrepreneurship as a scarce skill Greater emphasis should be placed on equipping all students from high school to community and vocational college graduates as well as university graduates with entrepreneurial knowledge and skills set. Our education and training institutions would have to incorporate this in all their programmes to ensure they produce students who can go beyond merely filling a position. We need to inculcate the entrepreneurial culture into our society so that it can permeate at all levels of work and give rise to new businesses creating more employment.
4. Addressing the scare skills by getting all education and training institutions to align their programme offerings to the National Development Plan and the New Growth Path It is noted that the scarce skills list will be compiled and published every two years, the NDP and NGP sets the objectives over 2 decades, however, public education and training institutions takes much longer than 2 years to get their programmes to align and start speaking to addressing the scarce skills identified.
It is therefore critical that the role of the private education and training institutions and industry must be reviewed so that they play a much greater role than is currently envisaged in the White Paper on Post School Education and Training in helping to fulfil the immediate to medium terms needs of our society and economy in terms of the skills required to fast track effective delivery on the social mandate and growth in our economy. The current capacity and infrastructure of many of our educational institutions will not be able to cope with the stepped up numbers required to address the identified scarce skills. Whilst the Honourable Minister of Higher Education and Training does refer to making greater use of distance learning options, the advent of free Wi-Fi and internet access being rolled out through local and provincial government initiatives must be harnessed and given more impetus so that it can provide the platform whereby more students can obtain their qualifications via educational institutions offering the qualifications online.
5. Conclusion The South African College of Business offers qualifications which lead to some of the occupations identified in the list of scarce skills. SACOB welcomes the publication of the scarce skills list every two years and we support the initiatives of the Department of Higher Education and Training aimed at addressing the immediate, medium and long terms skills requirements of our country.