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Skilled worker shortage drops slightly compared to last year

Posted on May 26, 2011
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SA companies struggling to fill positions with talented accounting and financial staff according international recruitment company.

SA’s companies are struggling to fill positions with talented accounting and financial staff, according to a report issued yesterday by the international recruitment company Manpower.

The study disclosed that 14% of companies in SA were experiencing difficulty filling mission-critical posts. This was an improvement from 16% last year and 35% in 2009.

The 2009 figure represented the market prior to the global recession, during which many business organizations realized that they could do more with less.

Peter Winn, MD of Manpower SA, said: “While not all employers are feeling the strain associated with the global talent shortage, external forces will most likely result in them soon feeling the pressure. Businesses need to adopt a long-term approach to ensure they have the talent they need to achieve their objectives.”

Mr Winn said while talent could not be “manufactured” in the short term, a robust workforce strategy would ensure a company’s business strategy was supported by having the talented people needed to execute it.

The jobs most in demand this year included drivers, machinists; accounting and finance staff; supervisors; skilled trades; doctors and other non-nursing health professionals.

Last year the jobs most in demand in SA were skilled trades; engineers; management; sales representatives and teachers.

A paper also published yesterday by Manpower on manufacturing talent, recommended how employers address the conundrum of a scarcity of talent and an abundance of available workers. It proposed a holistic workforce strategy, updating work models and people practices for the 21st century, including collaborating with governments, education and individuals. “The fact that companies are citing a lack of skills or experience as a reason for talent shortages should be a wake-up call for organizations, the education sector, government and individuals,” Mr Winn said.

Globally, employers experiencing the most difficulty in finding the right people to fill jobs were those in Japan (80%); India (67%); Brazil (57%); Australia (54%) and the US (52%).

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