You are currently viewing The Best FPM SETA Critical Skills Job List

The Best FPM SETA Critical Skills Job List

FPM SETA critical skills. Let’s dive into the Fibre Processing and Manufacturing SETA skills report. This information helps you plan what to study and alerts you to the skills employers need.

FPM SETA Critical Skills: Unlocking Potential for Growth

fp&m seta design to manufacturing fibre processing manufacturing

Fibre Processing and Manufacturing Demand for Skills

The sector analysis chapter has highlighted the potential for employment loss across various sub-sectors of the FP&M industry. However, amidst this challenge, it is important to recognize that scarce skills shortages are more likely to arise due to replacement demand.

Fibre Processing and Manufacturing Job Vacancies: What is “replacement demand?”

“Replacement Demand” refers to the need to fill job positions that become vacant when people leave or retire from their current roles. When we move on or retire, our positions need to be replaced with new employees who have the necessary skills and qualifications. In the context of scarce skills shortages, it means that the demand for skilled workers arises primarily from the need to replace those who are leaving, rather than from an increase in the overall number of job openings.

FPM SETA Critical Skills: Demand for Professionals and Artisans in the Fibre Processing and Manufacturing Sectors

The shortage of key professional and artisan skills within the sector is a big issue both at the national and international levels, leading to labour mobility and emigration. These artisan and professional occupations are particularly affected by the ageing workforce phenomenon. Despite the projected employment loss, it remains imperative for FP&MSETA to maintain its investment in a sustainable supply of these scarce skills, as they play a crucial role in the sector’s continued success.

Fibre Processing and Manufacturing Sectors Have a High Demand for Design Skills

The changing nature of the industry has given rise to new occupations that are now considered scarce skills. Design, for instance, has emerged as a pivotal driver of industrial growth in sectors such as furniture, printing and packaging, clothing, textiles, footwear, and leather. Therefore, design skills have become a valuable and scarce asset within the sector. FP&M SETA recognizes the significance of these “new” scarce skills and places great emphasis on addressing their shortage.


FPM SETA Critical Skills: Driving Growth and Excellence

Difference Between Scarce and Critical Skills

  • Scarce Skill: Refers to an absolute or relative demand, whether current or future, for skilled, qualified, and experienced individuals to fill specific roles, professions, occupations, or specializations within the labour market. This demand is measured in terms of particular occupations or specific qualifications.
  • Critical Skill: Pertains to specific capabilities required within an occupation, such as general management skills, effective communication and customer handling skills, teamwork abilities, proficiency in communication technology, and more.

Absolute and Relative Scarcity

The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) provides the following definitions for the absolute and relative scarcity of skills:

  • Absolute Scarcity: Indicates a lack of suitably skilled individuals in the labour market. This scarcity may arise in various scenarios, including the emergence of new occupations, the inability of firms, governments, or national economies to implement planned growth strategies, and instances where replacement demand reflects an absolute scarcity.
  • Relative Scarcity: Implies that suitably skilled individuals are available in the labour market but do not meet other employment criteria. These criteria may include high-level work experiences, such as project management in large manufacturing sites, geographical location preferences (e.g., individuals unwilling to work outside urban areas), or equity considerations (e.g., limited availability of candidates with requisite skills from specific demographic groups, as identified by the Department of Labour – DoL, 2006c).

FPM SETA Critical Skills Are Top-Up Skills

The importance of critical skills cannot be underestimated within the FP&M sector.

  • As industries evolve and embrace improved technologies or new forms of work organization, these “top-up” skills become essential to bridge the resulting skills gaps. Notably, all sub-sectors within FP&MSETA have reported investments in new technology, making it crucial to train staff in utilizing such technology. Therefore, fostering critical skills development around technology usage stands as a significant driver for the sector’s growth.
  • Moreover, effective leadership plays a pivotal role in steering sub-sectors toward new business directions and achieving the required industrial restructuring. As a result, managers become a key focus for critical skills development initiatives. Given the global competitiveness of many sub-sectors, enhancing labour productivity emerges as a growing priority, serving as yet another major driver for critical skills development.

FPM SETA Critical Skills relevant to all sectors in Fibre Processing and Manufacturing

In light of the critical skills landscape, I’ve extracted the data from Table 13. Below are the critical skills in the different FP&M SETA sub-sectors:

  • Coaching
  • Mentoring
  • Problem-solving
  • Literacy and numeracy skills
  • Sales and marketing
  • SMME management skills
  • Information technology expertise
  • Supervisory/team leadership/junior management skills
  • Technicians with outcomes aligned to specific industries
  • Technologists with outcomes aligned to specific industries
  • Production planning with outcomes aligned to specific industries
  • Lean manufacturing
  • Operations management

Specific Sub-Sector Critical Skills for Fibre Processing and Manufacturing

  • Clothing: Patternmaking, Supervisory/team leadership roles
  • Forestry: Saw doctors (artisan skills), Specialized truck drivers (terrain difficulty)
  • Furniture: Upholstery skills, Production management, Furniture design, CNC machinery operation
  • Leather: Leather Cutting
  • Packaging: Trades with outcomes aligned to specific needs, Technical machine operator (various outcomes)
  • Printing: Estimating, Supervisory, and business process skills
  • Print Media: Graphic design (software-specific)
  • Publishing: Project management specific to publishing
  • Textiles: Finishing (future skills due to changing legislation), Design, and Innovation
  • General Goods: Limited input to validate information.

Related: Jobs for Plant & Machine Operators and Assemblers

Compare to previous lists

FPM SETA Critical Skills: Demand for Management Skills in Fibre Processing and Manufacturing

FP&M SETA found that larger firms have a greater demand for the replacement of management skills. This critical skills demand arises due to the larger organizational structure in contrast to SMME environments that are primarily owner-managed.

Meet World-class Manufacturing Standards For Fibre Processing and Manufacturing

The required management skills should also align with world-class manufacturing (WCM) standards, making these skill sets even more challenging to obtain. Larger organizations often address skills shortages through internal promotion and development structures, whereas smaller organizations face difficulties in this regard.

Need for Accurate Career Pathing to Address Skill Shortages in Fibre Processing and Manufacturing

Establishing accurate career pathing becomes a priority for companies aiming to address critical skills shortages within their structure. Career pathing strategies are more easily implemented in larger structures, while manager-owned structures struggle to find development paths within their smaller setups. Everybody works for money, it is worth noting that larger companies tend to offer better opportunities for career development and remuneration.

FPM SETA Critical skills for SMME companies

Addressing critical skills for SMME companies becomes a shared responsibility. While there is a need for targeted interventions, SMMEs should also actively participate in the WSP submission and sub-sector strategies. Industry stakeholders have highlighted concerns regarding Health and Safety compliance, particularly the need for SHEQ officers. However, this falls outside the scope of the FP&M SETA and remains a legislative requirement that organizations must adhere to independently. The grant system does not cover training and development aspects related to Health and Safety compliance.

Demand for Fibre Processing and Manufacturing Sector Trades

Continuous mention of trades within each sub-sector has shed light on the importance of this area. The focus on trades has been a topic of discussion across various SETAs, indicating its significance to multiple industries. Subsector role-players believe that placing a greater emphasis on trades can lead to improved career pathing opportunities and skills exchange. Therefore, artisans specializing in various trades should be a focal point for collaborative efforts between sub-sectors and FP&M SETA to enhance skills development and retention within the industry.

FPM SETA Scarce and Critical Skills Strategic Planning for Fibre Processing and Manufacturing

By recognizing the critical skills needed to drive growth and excellence, the FP&M sector can proactively address skills gaps and ensure a competitive edge in the global market. Through targeted training and development initiatives, coupled with effective leadership and the integration of new technologies, the sector can cultivate a skilled workforce capable of navigating industry challenges and driving innovation. It is through a collaborative and strategic approach that the FP&M industry can thrive, attracting and retaining top talent while meeting the demands of a dynamic and evolving marketplace.

Remember, the strategic use of critical skills information in your job search sets you apart from other candidates. It showcases your proactive approach, adaptability, and alignment with industry needs. By demonstrating your understanding of the skills that employers value most, you position yourself as a competitive candidate who is ready to contribute to the success of their organization.

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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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