Numerous skills in demand in South Africa

A recent survey conducted by a South African immigration firm reveals than several sectors in South Africa are currently experiencing critical skill shortages.

The Xpatweb survey shows that South Africa is currently in desperate need of information and communications technology (ICT) specialists, engineers, artisans, senior financial executives, health sector workers, executive managers, specialists & academics, mining executives, risk managers and foreign language speakers.

“IT specialists and engineers remain top of the list of skills that are most difficult to find,” the survey stated. “Occupations in high demand in terms of the health sector, artisans, finance and ICT specialists have all increased this year,” it added.

Xpatweb said IT specialists were becoming highly sought-after in the wake of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, with a report published by the World Economic Forum showing that 35 per cent of skills considered important in today’s workforce would have changed over the next five years.

“By 2020, the Fourth Industrial Revolution will have brought us advanced robotics and autonomous transport, artificial intelligence and machine learning, advanced materials, biotechnology and genomics,” it said.

The survey comes against the backdrop of the country’s official unemployment rate rising to 29 per cent in the second quarter of the year, according to Statistics South Africa. This is the highest it has been since the launch of a quarterly labour force survey 11 years ago.

According to Xpatweb, employers have to compete locally and internationally for skilled talent; an outcome which increasingly places pressure on organisations. The survey showed that 62 per cent of participants blamed South Africa’s confusing visa process as the greatest prohibitor to recruiting internationally.

Article published 7th August 2019