Defining priority, scarce and critical skills

If you are in the training and development space, you will have heard the terms priority, scarce and critical skills. The question is, do you know what they mean for your skills development strategy in your workplace?
Here is a quick definition guide, drawn from various sector education training authority and Department of Higher Education and Training documents:

A scarce skill refers to the demand for skilled people to fill particular professions or occupations in the labour department. There are several reasons why there would be a scarcity of skills. For example, new tech industries might need data scientists, which is a fairly new occupation.

Critical skills are “top-up” skills within an occupation. They can be specific to a particular occupation resulting in skills gaps which arise from improved technologies or new forms of work organisation. For example, managers might need to be trained on diversity management because of the growing focus on transformation in the workplace.

Priority skills refer to scarce and critical skills that are needed at a point in time and are determined by identifying scarce and critical skills.

Core skills are unique to an organisation. We have a client that sell surgical products such as hip joints. In addition to the usual sales and marketing skillset, their sales representatives will also need to be knowledgeable about anatomy, which is then a core skill for their business. After all, they won’t be able to sell their products if they don’t understand how it fits into the human body.

A well-defined integrated skills development strategy takes into careful consideration the scarce and critical skills required to operate in your sector. It is important to include these in your annual work skills plan. But you also need to ensure that you identify the right employees for such training as your strategy should also be aimed at meeting your BBEEE skills development element target in terms of the BBBEE codes.

At ProudAfrique Human Capital we pride ourselves that we can assist you to source or develop client-specific skills programs to meet the Challenges of business and the requirements of the BEE Codes