Most in-demand jobs in SA

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande, has launched the latest National List of Occupations in High Demand (OIHD) in South Africa.

According to Nzimande, the list reflects the work undertaken by the department, through its Labour Market Intelligence research programme, to support human resource development in the country.

“This list is updated every two years, and marks an important step towards helping us understand better the needs of the labour market, and signals opportunities where our students and graduates are likely to stand a better chance of finding employment,” he explained.

Addressing media on Thursday, Nzimande said the OIHD is based on a thorough review of international good practice and information about global occupations that are sought after. 

The list can be found on

“In addition to the use of a range of statistics for the compilation of this list, we had broad, as well as deep stakeholder engagements regarding which occupations are in high demand,” the Minister said.

It also gives indicators on which occupations are likely to have vacancies and grow due to new investments, especially by government.

There are currently 345 occupations that are in high demand in South Africa out of 1 500 registered in the Organising Framework for Occupations.

“These occupations are at both high, as well as intermediate skills levels,” Nzimande said, adding that most are deemed crucial for the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan.

Naming a few, Nzimande said these include careers in the digital economy, energy, infrastructure development, manufacturing, tourism and agriculture, data scientists, web developer, computer network technician, electrical engineer, concentrated solar power process controller, mechatronic technician, toolmaker, gaming worker, crop produce analyst and agricultural scientist.

He has urged universities, Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges and private education and training institutions to use the list to inform their selection of programme offerings, resource allocations and enrolment planning processes.

He said it will also help in identifying and developing new qualifications and programmes that are more responsive to the needs of the economy and society.

Nzimande said students should also use the list in order to help manage the country’s skill deficit.

“Too many students rush into courses or programmes that we’re not short of in South Africa and are oversubscribed, which is breeding unemployment,” said Nzimande.

The Minister said he would like to see those involved in the provision of career development and information services use this list to guide young people on possible career opportunities.

“The list is only one of several elements in our skills planning arsenal.

“As a department, we have also researched and identified those occupations that may require skilled personnel to be recruited from outside of South Africa,” said Nzimande.

The list will be shared with the Minister of Home Affairs, who will consider it for possible adoption and gazetting.

Nzimande thanked the public and private sector, social partners, and researchers for supporting the department to produce a credible, evidence-based and well-validated list of occupations in high demand. –

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