South Africa: Member of Executive Council (MEC) Mireille Wenger on critical skills shortages to boost business and job creation
The Department of Higher Education and Training’s (DHET) Labour Market Intelligence unit has recently released a survey to identify occupations in high demand, occupational shortages, and skills gaps in South Africa, and at a provincial level.
Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger, said: “in almost every interaction I have with business, big and small, the topic of the broken visa regime in the country comes up as a factor holding back their growth. The fact is that the current visa regime is a significant deterrent to investment and the expansion of existing businesses, costing jobs and economic growth right at a time when we can ill-afford to lose either.” said Minister Wenger.
To facilitate foreign investment, companies need to be able to easily access South Africa. Individuals who apply for critical skills visas typically help develop new sectors or to expand existing ones, contribute to increasing the complexity of the economy by bringing in skills that are not currently available, and help new industries through skills development in South Africa. This is why the investment and critical skills visas are key enablers of economic growth and job creation.
Responding to the release of this survey, provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger said: “I very much welcome the release of this vital survey. I strongly encourage businesses across the province, in all sectors, to participate so that we can gain a much better understanding of where the gaps are and therefore, what we can do it address them. Importantly, this will help us attract individuals with the right critical skills, so that they can contribute to our economic growth project.”
The DHET’s survey on occupations in high demand, hard-to-fill vacancies and skills gaps can be found here(link is external).
To go even further, and in conjunction with the DHET survey, the Western Cape Government’s Tech and Innovation team within the Department of Economic Development and Tourism has compiled a companion survey for businesses to gather information on their experience with, awareness of, and intention to use the Scarce Skills Work Visa.
“The insights gathered from this survey will be instrumental in crafting a provincial list of high-demand occupations which will play a significant role in shaping the post-school education and training sector, and subsequently the critical skills list. This will go a long way to assist the Western Cape Government to ramp up our lobbying efforts to address this key constraint on the growth of the private sector. Again, I encourage our Western Cape businesses to participate in our survey, which can be accessed here – https://forms.office.com/r/vN4JVMJy3e(link is external)” continued Minister Wenger
The fact is that we must urgently address the significant inefficiencies in the visa regime because they are holding back economic growth and job creation in the Western Cape and South Africa. We stand ready to assist in any way possible to keep and expand the businesses we have and attract the investment we need to create more jobs for the residents of the province. By participating in both the surveys, you can make a positive contribution to helping us unblock this significant constraint on the growth of both our economy and job creation” concluded Minister Wenger.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Western Cape Finance and Economic Opportunities, South Africa.