Many matriculants have already begun applying to various FET institutions in preparation not only for next year, but their future career paths. According to Manpower South Africa’s 2015 Talent Shortage Survey, certain jobs have consistently faced a shortage of talent over the past nine years.
The Talent Shortage Survey, or TSS, survey is conducted annually by interviewing a sample of 750 South African businesses on the positions they are having the most difficulty filling, what effect the skills shortage is having on their businesses and what solutions they are putting into place to minimise the negative effects of this.
When the survey data from the past nine years is analysed, it is evident that certain positions are consistently hard to fill. “This could be owing to the fact that not enough of the youth are looking to enter these positions,” says van den Barselaar.
The positions that South African employers have experienced the most difficulty filling, over the past 9 years, are as follows:
1. Skilled Trades
2. Accounting & Finance Staff
5. Management/Executive (Management/Corporate)
7. Sales Representatives
8. Secretaries, PAs, Administrative Assistants & Office Support Staff
10. Restaurant & Hotel Staff
Van den Barselaar explains that if South Africa is to be able to minimise the skills gap, it is important that the youth take initiative in keeping up to date with the latest employment statistics and surveys.
“It is becoming increasingly important that the youth are aware of these kinds of statistics, as they can assist them in making informed decisions about their chosen educational and career paths. In a country like South Africa where the unemployment rate amongst the youth is high, it is important that the youth align their career decisions with the industries that are experiencing shortages,” explains Manpower South Africa Managing Director, Lyndy van den Barselaar.
“Parents, guardians and teachers need to assist learners in seeking a better understanding of which industries pose the most opportunities and selecting the career path most fitting to their personality and strengths,” she explains.
Van den Barselaar concludes by explaining that if the youth seek opportunities in those sectors that are desperately seeking skilled individuals, it will not only benefit them but will also benefit the country and its economy as a whole, by reducing the skills gap and the rate of youth unemployment, and increasing the number of economically active people in the population.