From: City Press, 5th June 2011
According to the Grant Thornton International Business Report, "Growth and job creation are national priorities for South Africa, but the shortage of a skilled workforce is the biggest constraint to the growth of local business."
In addition, to deliver much-needed basic services, we need a skilled workforce.
It is certainly hindering the government's efforts to provide services to our people at every level. From poor learners being taught by under-qualified teachers to patients in under-staffed state hospitals to victims of unsolved crimes, impacts us all in various ways because of the skills shortage in South Africa.
The Adcorp Employment Index reports that there are about 830 000 unfilled positions for highly skilled professionals, including doctors, accountants, lawyers, engineers and artisans.
Topping the list of the skills most in demand is senior management, followed by the professions, technical occupations (specialised technicians and artisans) and agriculture.
Of course people such as these are not made overnight. They are a product of a good basic and secondary education followed by a solid tertiary education.
"The government has its work cut out, as it grapples with how to address this crisis in the education system."
"The provision of free schooling is a step in the right direction, but free education is as only good as the quality of education provided at non-fee schools." says Totsie Memela-Khambula chief executive officer at Eduloan.
Eduloan provides educational loans to students to further tertiary education in South Africa.
Since established in 1996, Eduloan has provided R2.5billion in educational loans to more than 600 000 tertiary education students. More than half of the students that Eduloan currently funds are teachers, which is an investment in education.
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