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Why Critical Skills are Study and Work Opportunities.

Critical Skills are Study and Work Opportunities


The critical skills list is published by the Department of Home Affairs. It highlights opportunities for locals and foreigners to pursue these careers. Critical skills refer to the gap between the skills that employers need to fill a certain job position and the skills that are available in the labour market.

Listed here are jobs that are in high demand in South Africa.

Talent Shortages Mean Jobs and Study Grants Become Available

Are you a career changer or a new starter in the World of Work? Either way, knowing the critical skills that are being sought after before making life-changing decisions, can advantage your career vision. Start with this current list of critical skill shortages and begin to map your path.

Investigate Critical Skills Career Areas

The critical skills list includes careers in the following areas

  • Academics and Researchers
  • Business Economics and Finance
  • Contact Centre Operations
  • Education and Training
  • Health Professionals and Related Clinical Sciences
  • Information Communication & Technology
  • Life and Earth Sciences
  • Oil & Gas and Marine
  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
  • Trades

Find your fit.

Job and Study Opportunities Thrive in Growing Economic Sectors

Where to look for jobs: Critical Skills

While many economic forecasts are gloomy, that doesn’t mean there is no profitable growth happening.

keepclimbing apprenticeships trades technical jobs in demand

Sectors experiencing growth in South Africa include:

  • Automobile sector
  • Fashion and beauty sector
  • Transport and logistics sector
  • Real estate sector.

Do you have a qualification for a job that’s in demand? Use these templates to send a persuasive cover letter and start motivating to companies why they should hire you.

Critical Skills List 2023

The Critical Skills table below connects occupations and qualifications. Easily find the relevant qualification requirements. The third column lists the quality assurers that certify competencies. Quality assurance may be done by a SETA or another industry-recognised body. SETA websites are most likely to list the qualifications required to fill the skill shortages. Bursaries are usually offered in fields where there is a high demand.


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South Africa Critical Skills in 2023

Classification of Education
Subject Matter
Occupation/ Critical skillsClassification of Education
Subject Matter
Engineering·     Chemical engineering
·     Electrical engineering
·     Mechanical engineering
·     Civil Engineering
Including Engineering subdisciplines:
·     Systems engineering
·     Software engineering
·     Nuclear engineering
·     Nanoengineering
·     Industrial engineering
·     Energy engineering
·     Biological engineering
·     Agricultural engineering
·     Material engineering non-destructive Testing (NOT)
·     Other engineering disciplines recognized by South African Statutory bodies
·     South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP)
·     Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA)
·     Mining Qualifications Authority (MQA)
Business Economics and Finance·     Actuary
·     Risk assessor
·     Auditor
·     Actuarial Society of South Africa
·     Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA)
Information Communication & Technology·     Solutions Architect in Telecommunications and ICT
Qualifications in the following disciplines:
·     Computer science
·     Software engineering
·     Computer engineering
·     Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa (IITPSA)
Health Professionals and Related Clinical Sciences· National Research Foundation Letter of Support
· Department of Science and Technology Letter of Support
·     Health Professionals Council of South Africa (HPCSA)
·     South African Veterinary Council
·     Nursing Council South Africa
·     South African Pharmacy Council
·     Letter of support from the National Department of Health
Life and Earth Sciences·     Scientists and Biologists and Technicians including but not limited to:
·     Ecological scientist
·     Food and beverage scientist
·     Geologist
·     Geochemist
·     Geophysicist
·     Laboratory Technologist and Technician
·     Marine Bio-scientist
·     Metallurgical scientist
·     Metrology scientist
·     Microbiological scientist
·     Environmental Assessment Practitioners Association of South Africa (EAPASA)
·     South African Pharmacy Council
·     Council for Natural Scientific Professionals (SACNASP)
·     South African Veterinary Council
·     Council for Geo-Science (CGS)
·     Water Institute of South Africa (WISA)
Trades· Double-coded welder
·  Millwright
·  Boilermaker (for strategic infrastructure only)
·  Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO)
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Academics and Researchers·     Exploration – geology, seismic and reservoir
·     Drill and well
·     Field development – Topside and upsea
· National Research Foundation Letter of Support
· Department of Science and Technology Letter of Support
Education and Training·     STEM Secondary School Teacher (Grades 10-12)
·     STEM Junior Secondary School Teacher (Grades 8-9)
·     South African Council of Educators (SACE)
Contact Centre Operations·     Foreign language speakers for specialist language support and technical or sales support (German, Swiss German, Flemish, Greek, Swedish, Danish, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, Mandarin and French
·     Contact Centre Service Manager (Team Lead)
– Contact Centre Management Group
Oil & Gas and Marine·     Exploration – geology, seismic and reservoir
·     Drill and well
·     Field development – Topside and up sea
1. OPASA – Offshore Petroleum Agency South Africa
2. ONPASA – Onshore Petroleum Agency South
3. PASA – Petroleum Agency South Africa
4. SAOGA – South African Oil and Gas Alliance
5. SAIMI – South African International Marine Industry
6. SAIMENA – The South African Institute of Marine Engineers and Naval Architects
7. SAMSA – South African Maritime Safety Authority

Career Steps and Critical Skills Shortages

Critical skills shortages can occur in various industries and sectors and can lead to difficulties in finding qualified candidates for open positions, increased competition for available talent, and even wage inflation. These shortages can be caused by factors such as:

Both employers and job seekers need to be aware of these trends. This helps make informed decisions about career paths and hiring strategies.

Use the critical skills information provided to decide which fields you want to research for an opportunity. Use our cover letter templates to help you write the best job motivation ever!

If you qualify in a critical area you’ll find it easier to secure work and contribute to improving South Africa’s ability to compete globally.

Related Posts

Follow Keep Climbing SA on Twitter and Facebook. We’ll be publishing posts on the qualifications required in the various critical skill areas.

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Leonie Hall

Leonie Hall, disruptive thinker and dynamic strategist, is an expert in education, development, quality management and innovation. She has spoken at local and international conferences; and currently works as an independent consultant and content developer. Contact Leonie for a consultation.

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Critical Skills are Study and Work Opportunities Now