South Africa has been struggling against a global recession since 2020, when Covid-19 hit us with its first wave. With that came a rapidly heightened adversity of issues such as food security and job loss. In a country that already battles with 18% of the population facing poverty, this is a problem that cannot go unnoticed. So, what is the solution?
The latest CareerJunction Index has made it clear that a lack of job opportunities is not the only issue in South Africa – there is an imbalance of supply and demand in specific industries. Many industries have an overwhelming supply of qualified candidates for job positions – creating high competition and leaving many without work. On the other hand, many industries have few available candidates with the right skills to fulfill the necessary job requirements.
What Jobs Are Currently in Demand?
According to the jobs portal recorded by CareerJunction, South Africa has had a 4% increase in hiring activity and only a minor 1% increase in those searching for job opportunities. This means that there has been a decrease in competition amongst the unemployed and those hunting for work. But does our country have the necessary skills to fill those gaps in the marketplace?
Based on analysed data gathered from CareerJunction’s website – where approximately 3,000 of South Africa’s top recruiters advertise available job positions – we are able to see that the following occupational fields have the most sought-after skill sets in the current job-market:
- Software Development
South Africa has been a significant contributor to the global technology market for decades. With the industry growing, the need for experienced developers and programmers is only increasing, which we don’t see changing any time soon.
- Middle / Department Management
Despite the recession, many companies – specifically throughout Johannesburg and Cape Town – are growing and successfully establishing themselves. Businesses are searching for employees with the skills to manage and oversee their accounts, and this need will likely only increase.
- Representative / Sales Consulting
The skill to communicate from business to business is necessary in almost any organisation. In contrast to other industries, the sales industry has grown in popularity during the Covid pandemic. Recruitment of sales consultants significantly increased during September 2021, rising by 19% in demand.
South Africa has seen an overall heightened call for technological skills in the business, technology, and data & science fields – as a result of the decrease of physical interaction prompted by the pandemic. This isn’t suspected to fall away as the pandemic does, so what can businesses do to keep up with the times?
How can businesses keep up with the change in demand for skills?
There is a notable imbalance between supply and demand within different industries. Although there are fields (such as administration, office and support) that have more than enough candidates with the appropriate skill set to choose from, there is also an abundance of industries (such as information technology) that have a major demand for employees, but a very limited supply of these skilled professionals in the country.
So what can companies in this predicament do to counteract the issue? The answer is to utilise skills development to create an adaptable workforce. Businesses have the opportunity to close the gap between supply and demand, by introducing training programmes that advance employees who have the right characteristics for the job, but haven’t had the chance to develop the skill set they need for the available positions.
As the world changes, so does consumer demand. Businesses can’t keep replacing their employees to keep up with change, so instead need to train a flexible workforce that can adapt and adjust their performance to fulfill consumer needs. This has become an evident necessity for businesses as consumers have demanded a greater shift to technology.
Companies need to focus their attention on, and allocate resources to training their employees so they are able to modify their skills to match this need.
The right training content and methods will ensure your staff keeps developing as the world does. Summit can help you deepen the skills of your current employees to match the needs of your business, and equip them with the agility they need to keep up with the constant shift of market demand. Contact Summit today to build a better workforce!