The global consensus stipulated that there has to be central information about the required skills to foster an Education and Training (E&T) system that is responsive to socioeconomic needs. The information will help development initiatives, such as the National Development Plan (NDP), New Growth Path and Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) meet their development goals rapidly. South African government released the National List of Occupations in High Demand (OHID): 2018.
The OHID is defined as occupations that show relatively strong employment growth over the past 5 years, and/or are experiencing shortages in the labour market, or which are new and expected to emerge in the near future as a result of innovation, technological advancements, the development of new industries, or the implementation of government strategic priorities. The National List of OHID: 2018, therefore, acts as a central information document that supports planning processes in the Post-School Education and Training (PSET) system. These processes include enrolment planning, decision making on the prioritisation of resource allocations, qualifications development, career information, advice, public and private employers, employer organizations, professional bodies, trade unions, and research organizations are encouraged to use the list to support the provisioning of their own E&T programmes.
The list of occupations identified in the National List of OHID: 2018 were selected from a list of approximately 1 500 occupations that were listed in the Organising Framework for Occupations (OFO). The OFO is a coded classification system for occupations. In South Africa, there are two occupation classification systems: OFO and South African Classification of Occupations (SASCO). The former is defined as a coded occupational classification system adapted by the Department to identify, report and monitor skills demand and supply in the South African labour market. SASCO is widely used by Statistics SA for the purposes of conducting its national census data and to track the shifting occupational profile of the country’s workforce. The list was compiled using quantitative and qualitative methodology.
The quantitative method adopted four domains related to wages, vacancies, occupational growth and anticipated demand based in government strategies for the development of indicators and benchmarks that were combined into an index of OHID. The qualitative method drew from a review of the national and international literature on occupational shortages and growth, a call for evidence made to key stakeholders, interviews held with key stakeholders and a scan of government strategies and policies for economic expansion.
The list differentiates occupations into three categories: highest demand, higher demand and high demand. The differentiation indicates that occupations in the highest group scored in the top group on the statistical index. The list of OHID can be found at www.dhet.gov.za.