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List of the 10 critical skills needed in South Africa right now

On April 7, 2021 / by Sherone Lewis / Leave a comment

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A critical skills survey conducted by Xpatweb highlights the most in-demand ‘scarce’ skills in South Africa, which has led to businesses seeking talent recruitment from abroad.

The survey was conducted across a wide range of multi-national and corporate firms to assess the level of difficulty organisations face when sourcing scarce skilled individuals and the role of foreign nationals in addressing these shortages.

The number of respondents has grown exponentially in recent years, with a 30% increase in responses from 178 in 2019, to 220 in 2020/21. The survey has revealed that 77% of organisations have stated that they are still struggling to recruit and obtain critical skills in South Africa for their local and cross-border operations. 76% of participants further confirmed that an international search will assist the organisation in meeting its business objectives.

According to the latest survey, the top 10 critical skills businesses are struggling to recruit include:

  • Engineers (18%)
  • ICT (13%)
  • Foreign language speakers (10%)
  • Media and Marketing Specialists (9%)
  • Artisans (8%)
  • C-Suite Executives (7%)
  • Senior Financial Executives (6%)
  • Health Professions
  • Related Clinical Sciences (5%)
  • Science Professionals (4%)
  • Accounting (1%)

Over the past five years, the skills shortage has persisted with eight categories of skills dominating the top of the list of professionals that businesses find difficult to recruit. This has led to many organisations seeking suitably qualified and experienced candidates beyond South Africa’s borders to fill these posts.

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