WHY IS THERE A BATTLE FOR TALENT?

talent

WHY IS THERE A BATTLE FOR TALENT?

Skill shortages are not just a South African issue, it’s global and yes, we are losing the war trying to find talent.  South Africa’s unemployment rate rose to 27.5% in the third quarter of 2018 from 27.2% in the second quarter. There were 6.2 million jobless people in Q3/2018; about 100 000 more than in Q2/2018.

The unemployment rate is 37.3%, including people who have stopped actively looking for work. The issue is that most of these unemployed people are part of the inadequately educated workforce. Many students currently enrolled in South Africa’s tertiary institutions are studying subjects that do not support the need in business for science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) as well as future-orientated skills.

The unemployment rate in South Africa remains one of the highest in the world, yet over the past year it has become more difficult to fill positions, with the demand for Engineers, IT staff, and skilled Trade-Workers at its highest. South Africa has a shortfall of about 40 000 qualified artisans.

While government has started to actively encourage young South Africans to choose trade jobs, they’re also filling skills gaps in the trade with professionals from abroad. Survey shows skilled trades remain in the top three most difficult positions for companies to fill, followed by engineers.

Pertaining to IT, actual coding experience can become more valuable than traditional qualifications. After all, you learn through working and sometimes traditional education simply can’t prepare you for the world of work. In a world of fast-paced technological advancement, more and more IT skills are needed to keep up with the demands of a changing global marketplace. In South Africa, in particular, there is a lot of discussion around the lack of IT skills in the local job market.

As skill needs change rapidly employers are looking inside their organisations for solutions, with more than half choosing to develop and train their own people.  Production and machine operators also become tougher roles to fill. As the talent shortage escalates, employability not only depends now on what you know, but on your ability to learn, apply and adapt to the constantly evolving business landscape.


Is paying higher salaries the answer? Companies have budgets and need to remain profitable, getting into a salary war with competitors could prove counterproductive. Building the right talent for Africa’s jobs of today and tomorrow is therefore critical.

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