Museum managers on SA's highest-demand list

Host of professions among critical skills rated by the government

If you can measure earthquakes, manage a museum, or repair weapons systems, you will be among a host of professionals in “highest demand” on the government’s latest list of critical skills.
Museum managers, seismologists and weapons systems mechanics all appear on the department of higher education & training’s new format National List of Occupations in High Demand 2018, published in the Government Gazette late last month.
For the first time, the list rates professions in three categories of demand – high, higher and highest.
The document, which was signed off by higher education minister Naledi Pandor, lists high-demand occupations “that have shown relatively strong employment growth and/or are experiencing shortages in the labour market, or which are expected to be in demand in the future”.
The list has a lifespan of two years, with the next list due to be released in 2020.
The document differs substantially from the government’s second critical occupations listing, the Critical Skills List, which is compiled by the department of home affairs and directed primarily at foreigners looking for employment in SA.
This list was last updated in June 2014 and, according to an employment industry insider, has come under fire for not being completely representative of the country’s skills needs and is therefore expected to be updated in the near future.
Pandor said the department’s list was created to provide a central information document around required skills in the country and to identify current and future occupational needs to help ensure that the goals of the National Development Plan, among other policies, are achieved.
In addition, the list is directed at informing decisionmaking, which includes ensuring that education and training institutions’ cater for high-demand occupations.
“The primary purpose of the National List of Occupations in High Demand 2018 is to improve the responsiveness of the post-school education and training system to the needs of the economy and to the broader development objectives of the country,” Pandor said in her motivation.
The list includes 371 occupations, with 133 of these in the “highest” demand.
The first three occupations listed in this category are general manager public service, senior government official and senior government manager.
Xpatweb director and immigration specialist Marisa Jacobs said that a new list from the department of home affairs was eagerly awaited...

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