South Africa

Facts and Statistics on artisans and trades in South Africa you may not have known

Connecting Human Potential | Enablers of agile, focused and skilled workforces for the future
2 mins

With South Africa’s National Development Plan (NDP) 2030 in full swing, there are many companies and individuals from all races and classes working together to drive the plan throughout the country. When it comes to increasing the number of qualified artisans produced in South Africa per year from our current 15,000 to the desired 35,000, it will have both a direct impact on the country’s economy as well as a knock-on effect for generations to come where becoming a tradesman will once again be a respectable and respected career path.


Adcorp Group have committed to being one such driving force behind the increase in qualified artisan numbers and as such, we believe it would be useful to share some interesting statistics that the average person may not be aware of.

South Africa has a startling unemployment rate of 34.5% (7,9 million) which is the highest in the world. As mentioned, we are currently only producing 15000 qualified artisans per year, but per the NDP 2030 we need to be producing 35,000 per year and we are only 42.9% of the way there since the implementation of the NDP in 2012.

There are countless trades that fall within the artisan field, but the top artisan trades in highest in demand are: Bricklayers, Electricians, Millwrights, Boilermakers, Plumbers, Mechanics (including automotive), Diesel Mechanics, Carpenters and Joiners, Welders, Riggers, Fitter and Turners, Mechanical Fitters and Pipe Fitters. As you can see, the highest in demand are the trades within the construction industry.

Historically, artisanship has been a male driven industry with less than 10% of artisans being women. However, it is pleasing to see the number of women artisans starting to enrol. In 2017, 57% of students that enrolled in a technical and vocational college were female.

There are many institutions in South Africa currently offering accredited courses and qualifications in these trades, and you can find a comprehensive list here:

Once you have finished your apprenticeship, your trade can provide you with strong financial security as they offer decent salaries. Once qualified you could earn a salary of R14 250-00 per month for entry level positions. The average artisan earns up to R25 000-00 per month once they have spent a few years in their field gaining the relevant knowledge and experience. There are some cases of artisans who earn up to R250 000-00 per month. This is a great motivation to want to find a career that you love within the artisan trade.


“There is nothing more satisfying than creating something with your own hands. “Using your hands is fulfilling on so many different levels” – Jacqueline Snaggs-Charles an artisan who creates jewellery and paper craft


Find out more about how the Adcorp group is making a difference for artisans and trades!



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