There is a growing urgency from both the public and private sectors to prioritize scarce skills.
But what are scarce skills and why should it matter to you?
Defining scarce skills
The term "scarce skills' refers to skills or competencies that are lacking in a certain region.
In order for a country to implement its developmental goals certain skills are required. These skills are generally needed to manage national resources and provide services in line with the country's needs.
Many nations have ambitious development plans to benefit their citizens but skills shortages can severely hinder economic transformation and advancement.
Skills shortages facing South Africa
In South Africa the R845 billion strategic infrastructure projects set out in the National Development Plan have been hampered by skills shortages in the engineering sector.
While their are a number of other scarce skills in SA the lack of technical skills has been identified as the biggest obstacle to economic growth.
According to Kaizer M Nyatsumba, CEO of the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa, "developing and retaining key technical skills is essential if South Africa is to meet the challenge of building massive new infrastructure, while at the same time upgrading existing services."
As a result government has released various incentives and programmes to promote the production of artisan and engineering skills.
The reality is that engineers provide the structural backbone for successful economic output. Their services in the development of urban areas is critical to the productive functioning of the citizens within it.
By streamlining transport, communication and electrical services they help to boost the country's overall GDP.
For this reason and many more South Africa is in desperate need of qualified and highly skilled engineers.
How does this impact me?
If you live in South Africa it is important to understand the country's future plans and polices for two reasons.
Firstly, skills gaps reveal economic opportunities. In other words sectors that have skills shortages are more likely to have greater training, employment and business opportunities.
At a time when unemployment is high and job creation is low it is important to choose a career with favourable prospects.
Secondly, making the choice to pursue a scarce skill will not only benefit you but the country as a whole.
You could be the reason that more South African's have access to running water or public transport.
Because the national development plan aims to make life better for all you can be assured that your participation in it will change the life of your fellow citizens for good.
Find Engineering Courses here and take the first step to a promising career.
By Cindy Payle - Portal Publishing