Postgraduate Talk - Bridging the Skills Divide

The South African Department of Home Affairs published its latest Critical Skills List, effective 01 February 2022, outlining the jobs which are in short supply in the country. The review of the list was influenced by many factors, including but not limited to, economic development, successful skills development programmes, increased influx of graduates into the South African economy and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some of the notable jobs which have been added to the list include:

  • Market Research Analyst
  • Urban and Regional Planner
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Multimedia Designer
  • Architect
  • ICT Systems Analyst

The complete list can be found here, detailed in the Business Tech, 6 April 2022. .

South Africa, as the second-largest economy in Africa, has made significant economic development in the last decades, however, our society is still one of the most unequal globally. According to Statistics South Africa, the unemployment rate in the country, climbed to 35,3% in the fourth quarter of 2021, up from 34,9% in the previous period. This was the highest jobless rate since comparable data began in 2008. The root of unemployment is not only a lack of jobs, but a key underlying issue is also the inadequately educated workforce leading to a scarcity of skills that meet the needs of business in the fourth industrial revolution.

In an interview with the Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield in 2020, RMB’s former CEO, James Formby, unpacking the economy recovery plan, mentioned that South Africa should guard against a skills-shortage tipping point, where skills leaving the country can’t be replaced at the same pace.

According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs 2020, the result could be a net loss of over 5 million jobs in 15 major developed and emerging economies, including, South Africa. The study highlights that skill demands will change significantly over the next coming years, pointing at the importance of aligning education with skills needed in the labour force.

Have we reached the skills-shortage tipping point?

South African organisations are now facing the challenge of finding suitable talent with complex problem-solving and decision-making skills, critical thinking, research as well as cognitive flexibility.

To assist in filling the gap of the skills divide, Inscape recently introduced SA’s only Distance Learning Honours in Design. This came about with the awareness that young professionals do not have the luxury of time to leave work and go to classes. The programme allows the student to study at their own pace and time with Research Methodology as one of the compulsory modules and electives such as Sustainable Design, Commercial Design, User Experience Design and more.

Join us, 8 June 2022, for a panel discussion that seeks to discover opportunities to bridge the divide and get South African’s future fit.