Engineers, quantity surveyors and finance managers are considered one of the scarcest skills in South Africa. But did you know how scarce?
Last year the Department of Higher Education and Training published a draft list of the top 100 scarcest skills in the country, and accountant was listed as the 13th most needed skill in the economy. Interestingly, finance manager is listed as the country’s 6th most needed skill.
A scarce skills is defined as one where the skills are simply not available when needed, or where the skills are available, the candidate does not meet the specific employment requirements for the job.
“Chartered accountants are an occupation in high demand. However, these professionals work in a range of occupations such as, but not limited to, CEOs, CFOs, financial managers, financial analysts, audits, project managers, general managers, and so. Thus the occupational title CA is not listed,” according to the authors of the list.
Unsurprisingly, engineers of various stripes crowd the upper rungs of the scarce skills list. This is not surprising given the volume of infrastructure and construction projects underway. It is also worth noting that most South African construction and engineering firms have diversified abroad, and many of country’s best skills are now working outside the country, joining the expatriate stampede for US dollar-based earnings that has taken grip in the last decade.
This scarcity puts engineers (those with the right skills) in the driving seat when it comes to negotiating remuneration and conditions.
SA’s Most Needed Skills
1 Electrical Engineer
2 Civil Engineer
3 Mechanical Engineer
4 Quantity Surveyor
5 Programme or Project Manager
6 Finance Manager
7 Physical and Engineering Science Technicians
8 Industrial and Production Engineers
10 Chemical Engineer
11 Construction Project Manager
12 Mining Engineer
13 Accountant (General)
14 Energy Engineer
15 Materials Engineer
16 Electronics Engineer
17 Metallurgical Engineer
18 Medical Superintendent / Public Health Manager
19 Telecommunications Engineers
20 Energy Engineering Technologist
22 Public Health Physician
23 Nursing Professionals
24 Registered Nurse (child and family health)
25 General Medical Practitioner
27 Industrial Pharmacist
28 ICT Systems Analyst
30 Hospital Pharmacist
31 Boiler Maker
32 Fitter and Turner
33 Carpenter and Joiner
35 Environmental Engineers
36 Retail Pharmacist
You can find the full report here