Africa Skills future plans

New era careers require skilled workers

What are you planning to do after school? Do you have any idea yet of what you will become? An engineer, an accountant, a programmer, a social media manager, a content strategist, a plumber, a bricklayer, an early childhood teacher, a carpenter, maybe an electrician, a hairdresser or an office manager?

With the year-end exams being written currently many matriculants and grade 9 learners are testing their own aptitude and passion to ensure they would be related to the work of their dreams or at least the best possible point of departure. It is a good time to ask yourself what type of career will be the best for your knowledge and valuable time.

It is important that learners, parents and current unemployed people take note of the most-scarce skills in South Africa?
According to the MD of Africa Skills Private College, Elsie Harmse South Africa battles high unemployment rates. It is however striking to note that there are many instances lacking enough applicants with qualified skills for available positions. She notes that it is unfortunate that some of the courses that admit thousands of students annually are no longer viable in the current economic system, partly because of modernisation.

Findings on the scarcity of professionals in key fields are in the spotlight following employer frustrations due to their struggle to find adequately skilled workers.

Consequently, many South African learners who are about to finish their school careers are looking at which skills are most in-demand by employers? Harmse highlights the nature of some of the artisan programmes on offer for 2021.

If you want to be your own boss and like working with your hands becoming a plumber has many perks but it can require long, unscheduled work hours. Regardless of the economic situation in the country, there will always be a need for plumbers. A definite advantage of becoming a plumber is the reliability of this career. Generally, plumbers are good at problem-solving and they can follow technical plans. They understand the importance of health and safety. People skills are also important.

If you enjoy working with your hands to build or repair items, welding may be the ideal career. Since it involves using complex tools and flames, welding requires plenty of practice and training. Once this education and experience are gained, welders can continue building their skill set to eventually advance in their career and complete larger and industrial projects.

As skilled craft persons, carpenters work independently, in factories and for general contractors. They plan, construct, erect, install, and repair various buildings and structures. They use wood, plastic, fibreglass, drywall, and other materials to build or repair structures and fixtures. Those working for large contracting companies build wooden forms for poured concrete for tunnels, bridges, sewers, and other public projects. Carpenters install framing for structures, erect scaffolds, build braces in underground passageways and mines, and construct brattices.

Dreaming of becoming an electrician? They perform a wide variety of tasks, from the installation of wiring in a new building to repairs and replacements of outdated systems. It would be advantageous to have a mechanical aptitude. It might seem obvious, but not everyone has an innate sense of mechanics. Potential electricians also need to show problem-solving skills, reading comprehension, business skills and customer service skills. Good communication and time management skills are also essential.

Harmse mentions the demand for bricklayers. “They are tradespeople, who work either on their own or as part of a construction team. It is one of the oldest jobs in the construction industry but still a need to have. Bricklayers place bricks or blocks on top of each other to create a wall by keeping them together with cement (mortar). They make sure their work is straight, level and plumb. They build the outer and inner walls of buildings; repair walls, make partitions, build fireplaces and other brick structures. Experienced Bricklayers build arches, steps and other more complicated constructions. They are reliable team players, healthy and strong, and people who enjoy doing accurate work.

She emphasises that learning about skills that are currently bestselling is essential in deciding what to pursue after school. “The current dynamic working environment demands a proper understanding of skill relevancy in modern applications.”

Harmse mentions that application for 2021 registration of new Artisan Skills Training courses as well as a range of accredited business skills courses at skills training institutions in the South Cape, Gauteng and Northwest is open to matriculants, grade 9 school leavers and unemployed adults. Visit our website for more information.