Every sector faces skills shortage

Virtually every sector in South Africa that relies on skilled labour is facing a skills shortage, the South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) said yesterday.

Virtually every sector in South Africa that relies on skilled labour is facing a skills shortage, the South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) said yesterday.

"There is clearly a skills crisis," said SAIRR's Marius Roodt who released a report last week that indicated the country was facing a "dire" skills crisis.

"The first step in tackling the current shortages of vital skills will be to acknowledge the problem, instead of playing the race card at every opportunity, as some commentators insist on doing.

"In order to begin solving the skills crisis, the institute recommends that racialised employment legislation be scrapped.

"The current rigid and bureaucratic immigration regime be relaxed to make it easier to import skills into South Africa," said Roodt

He said there was also a need for intensified marketing of the nation abroad to attract skilled migrants to the country.

Roodt said there were a number of sectors where massive skills deficits were looming such as architecture, engineering, teaching, information and communication technology.

It was estimated that there were 200000 unemployed tertiary graduates, with 36000 of these holding degrees, said Roodt.

"The reason for these graduates' unemployment can probably be linked to the types of degrees they hold, with a large number of them holding general commerce degrees."

He said a large proportion of the unemployed graduates also lacked communication and English language skills. - Sapa

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