South Africa is in desperate need of ICT and engineering skills, and the education system is not able to produce these skills fast enough.
This is one of the findings in the recently released Xpatweb 2019/2020 Critical Skills Survey report.
The survey was launched to provide input on the new draft list of critical skills which was expected to be released by Department of Home Affairs (DHA) in April 2020.
The 2019/20 Critical Skills Survey specifically tracked the impact of immigration across various critical sectors within South Africa’s economy.
The results show that ICT Specialists and Engineers continue to be highly sought-after skills, with 19% and 21% of participants respectively indicating that these are the critical skills areas which they find most difficult to recruit.
This is supported by the South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE), which said South Africa continues to lose hundreds of engineers year on year who emigrate with their families.
This “brain drain” has created a big skills shortage in the engineering sector in South Africa.
According to the Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa (IITPSA), South Africa is also in desperate need of ICT skills.
“The education sector is just unable to produce these skills in the numbers that South Africa needs,” the report states.
These factors are just the tip of the iceberg that cause multinationals to search globally for the skills needed.
While this is bad news for South African companies, it is excellent news for local engineers and ICT professionals.
The strong demand for their skills means they have good job prospects and can demand higher salaries than their colleagues.
The most difficult skills to recruit
The Xpartweb 2019/2020 critical skills survey asked multinationals and corporates in South Africa about the difficulty to recruit certain skills.
The survey was completed by 178 companies, with 78% of the respondents are C-suite level executives and managers in key decision-making positions.
47% of respondents said they find it extremely difficult to recruit critically skilled professionals in South Africa.
The image below shows the most sought-after critical skills in South Africa.