Sunday, 7 July 2013
Read This and Weep
The South African Labour Department has published a pamphlet entitled “ Scarce Skills”.
It bears testimony to the failure of the ANC – Cosatu – SA Communist Party alliance to create a suitable education system and healthy environment for business and therefore job creation in this country.
It also testifies to their mismanagement of the macro economy, so that the salaries of lower-end paid workers are inadequate to support useful life.
The intended readers of the brochure are job seekers.
The introduction notes that jobs are scarce and encourages people to study for scarce skills. It defines a scarce skill as “a qualification or job for which there are too little [sic.] people in South Africa doing the job.”
A section entitled “What Jobs are Scarce?” makes interesting reading. All areas of the economy are short of skilled personnel.
Managers of all descriptions are scarce, including chief executives, general managers and legislators; specialist managers; construction, distribution and production / operations managers, IT managers; events, hospitality, retail and services managers, and so on.
Professionals are required by the hundred in every field: arts and media, accountants, auditors, actuaries, human resources, information and organization, sales and marketing, public relations, architects, surveyors, engineers, school teachers, scientists, midwifery and nursing, business system analysts and programmers, database and systems managers, solicitors and so forth.
Then there are shortages of technicians and trade workers in agriculture, medicine and science, building, engineering, telecommunications, manufacturing and process, fabrication, automotive industry, panelbeaters, bricklayers, carpenters and joiners, glaziers, plumbers, electricians, electronics, food trades, health and welfare support, hospitality, defence force, fire departments, sports and fitness.
There are similar lists of scarce skills in the areas of clerical and administrative workers, sales workers, machinery operators and drivers, stationary plant operators, mobile plant operators, vehicle drivers, store persons.
Here the brochure becomes worrying.
In a country with 40% unemployment (that’s about 12 million unemployed) there is a lack of elementary workers skilled in laundry work, construction and mining, factory process, farming, forestry, gardening, freight handlers and shelf packers, deck and fishing hands, handypersons [sic.], motor vehicle parts and accessories fitters, printing assistants and table servers.
In other words, there is a shortage of manual labourers.
But then, what do you expect in a country where the education system is on life support? Only 60% of children finish high school (most of them with worthless matric certificates), just 10% of schools have functional libraries and only 15% of people who enter university go on to graduate?
Besides, who wants to slave away in a forest or factory when you can sign up for a social grant and live on cigarettes and alcohol?
And why strive to get qualifications when those that have more significant skills can barely pay the rent with their salaries?
And why stick around South Africa when qualified managers, professionals, technicians, managers and other top class personnel can get much more money by emigrating to countries such as Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom etc.?