SANDF to deal with skills shortage

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Pretoria - The Department of Defence and Military Veterans is looking at innovative ways to deal with the critical skills shortage in some of its wings.

The head of human resources, Lieutenant General Mbuyiselo Mgwebi, on Thursday said some of the skills or personnel needed in the defence force were pilots, engineers and technicians.

The South African Airforce (SAA) is the hardest hit with most of its pilots poached by private sector airlines.

Briefing the media in Pretoria, Mgwebi said various institutions had been consulted to assist with the training of personnel.

"We want to ensure that our people are well trained and have the right tools for the job," he said.

In 2008, the department expressed concern about the number of pilots leaving the South African Air Force (SAAF) to join the private sector.

At the time, the department lost a number of pilots to the private sector within the country and abroad.

Mgwebi said the department was looking at the Military Skills Development (MSD) programme to provide the SANDF with scarce skills as well as serve as a feeder system for the Defence Reserves.

MSD graduates, the department says, become pilots, engineers, air navigators, military doctors and combat officers, adding to the country's scarce skills base.

Approximately 10 000 youth from all over South Africa have been recruited by the South African National Defence Force through the MSD system since its inception in 2003.