16/01/2014. Minister of Higher Education and Training Dr Blade Nzimande speaks during the launch of the White Paper on Post School Education at Unisa. Picture: Oupa Mokoena

Johannesburg - It’s the government’s Top 100 most-wanted. These are not criminals. They’re the sort of people who are really needed but just can’t be found.

This is the “National Scarce Skills List: Top 100 occupations in demand”.

The list was released by Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande a week ago. It’s a draft and is open for public comment until June 20.

Engineers of various types dominate the list – there are 11 in the top 20.

These are the top 10: electrical engineers, civil engineers, mechanical engineers, quantity surveyors, programme or project managers, financial managers, physical and engineering science technicians, industrial and production engineers, electricians and chemical engineers.

The list includes medical superintendents or public health managers at number 18, public health physicians (22), nursing professionals (23), general medical practitioners and veterinarians (jointly at 25), carpenters and joiners (33), plumbers (37), primary school maths teachers (52), high school maths teachers (72), earthmoving operators (78), local authority managers (86), ship’s engineers (93) and forestry technicians (97), and ends with medical scientists (100).

“This document provides a list of the top 100 occupations that are considered to be in short supply,” says the document.

“The purpose of the list is to inform human resource planning and development; resource allocation and prioritisation; the development of relevant qualifications, programmes and curricula; and international recruitment strategies.”

The occupations are defined as “scarce” either because such skilled people are not available, or they are available but don’t meet employment criteria. Scarcity includes what’s defined as “relative scarcity”, where there are skilled people available but they may not be willing to work outside urban areas or equity considerations aren’t met.

The 100 occupations listed are sets of jobs or specialisations, so represent categories which could encompass a number of jobs or specialisations, said the document.

The list was based on information from a range of sources including government and university research reports, and various organisations were consulted.

A ranking scorecard for the occupations was drawn up, with scores and weights assigned to the occupations.

For example, points were assigned to occupations which were identified by the Sector Education and Training Authorities as scarce skills, if it was identified in the Department of Labour’s Job Opportunities and Unemployment Report index, or if it required at least three years of formal study.

The list was gazetted last Friday.

[email protected]

The Star