ManpowerGroup South Africa managing director Lyndy van den Barselaar.
Photo: Supplied
ManpowerGroup South Africa managing director Lyndy van den Barselaar. Photo: Supplied

Skilled trades and technicians the most difficult positions to fill in SA

By BR Correspondent Time of article published Mar 4, 2020

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DURBAN - ManpowerGroup has released the results of its 13th annual Talent Shortage Survey which shows that  skilled trades and technicians top the list of South Africa’s skills shortages.

Large enterprises report a significant 42 percent shortage in talent and desired skills, followed by 40 percent for medium, 31 percent for small, and 22 percent for micro-enterprises. 

ManpowerGroup South Africa managing director Lyndy van den Barselaar said, "Compared to the global average, however, South Africa is ahead of the game, as global talent shortages average out at 54 percent, while South Africa is at 34 percent. Interestingly, this number has held steady since the 2016 survey, although the makeup of shortages has shifted somewhat". 

Here is how South Africa compares:

Position South Africa Global
1. Skilled Trades Skilled Trades
2. Technicians Sales and Marketing
3. Sales and Marketing Technicians
4. Accounting and Finance Engineering
5. Management/Executive Driving and Logistics
6. Professionals IT
7. IT Accounting and Finance
8. Driving and Logistics Manufacturing
9. Engineering Construction
10. Healthcare Healthcare

Global results reflect that skilled trades are most in demand, followed by sales and marketing, technicians, and engineering. Healthcare has entered the global top ten for the first time, at 10th position, while automation has led to office administration, contact centre employees, project managers, legal professionals and researchers dropping off the top ten.

Reinforcing the message that hands-on skills are leading the pack in terms of shortages, driving and logistics is at fifth place globally, manufacturing at eighth, and construction at ninth. IT professionals are at position 6 on the global shortage list, followed by accounting and finance professionals in seventh place.

"South Africa corresponds with the Global results that Skilled Trades, Technicians, and Sales and Marketing positions are the most difficult to fill. This initially reads as  areas of opportunity for job seekers, however with a gloomy economy outlook expected for 2020, and with the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey for quarter 1 of 2020 indicating that very few employers are looking to increase their payroll, competition for the jobs that are available will be fierce. Job seekers are encouraged to extend their professional skill sets to give themselves the necessary advantage," concluded van den Barselaar. 

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