South Africa

Here’s how technical training can close the skills gap in SA.

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

South Africa’s unemployment rate is famously high, but the reality is that the large majority of our workforce is unqualified to take on the jobs that are available. This is where technical training can make a large positive impact on South Africa’s employment rate, the skills available for our industries and our overall economic growth.

But first, let’s address why companies should be focusing on training their employees. If you look at the latest statistics, it could mean the difference between high turnover and loyal more productive staff running your business.

PwC’s Workforce of the Future report found that 74% of surveyed employees feel they aren’t reaching full potential at work due to a lack of development opportunities. However, 74% of workers also said they are willing to learn new skills or brush up on their current skill set to remain employable. 

59% of employees invest in their own upskilling, to a certain extent. While the latter isn’t always possible in South Africa’s economic climate, the zeal to learn and improve within SA’s workforce exists. This is where technical skills training comes in.


The skills gap in SA

In 2020, South Africa had the highest unemployment rate among the 19 countries that are members of the G20, according to These stats, released in October 2021, saw the unemployment rate in South Africa standing at 29.1%. Many South Africans do not have the skills required to thrive – or even function adequately – in a modern economy.

This is why the availability of training and skills development in all forms, from formal courses to workplace training, is so important. More relevant and accessible upskilling opportunities give people a better chance of leaving poverty behind in a country where it is rampant. 

Not only does technical training and upskilling give South Africa a more skilled workforce, but it also puts the country in the position to innovate and bring new ideas that can strengthen the economy and help combat the challenges we face.


Technical skills in the workplace

The basic skills needed to carry out day-to-day tasks of a particular role are known as technical skills. Whether you’re an accountant, a nurse or an artisan. 

Technical skills are usually practical – such as report-writing, machine operation or data analytic –

and they are always job specific. Unlike soft skills, which are transferable, you are going to need upskilling to acquire technical skills.

This isn’t to say an employee is hired without the proper knowhow to do their job, but sometimes industries evolve. Skills required to be a business analyst vary now from ten years ago, simply because the data has changed with technological advancements. Never mind roles like social media managers, which are some of the newer jobs that are also always constantly evolving.


The real cost of the skills gap

While training employees doesn’t come cheap, the time and money you may need to spend on third parties to deliver the training or even to train in house, is small compared to the cost of having unskilled staff trying to help you reach your business goals.

The many benefits of technical employment skills training mean you should start seeing it as an investment in the business rather than an expense.

Upskilled employees who don’t feel ill-equipped to do their jobs won’t worry about underperforming or making mistakes, but those deprived of the opportunity to expand their skills on the job may worry that a lack of training will make them less valuable in the job market.

Benefits of technical training 

  • Trained workers are significantly more productive than their untrained counterparts.
  • For every poorly trained employee who makes a mistake, the work must be redone.
  • Technical training is continuous as the need for technical competence evolves with your business needs. 
  • The results are easy to measure, unlike with soft-skills training, as the hard skills being improved can be categorised and defined.
  • Cost isn’t an issue with alternatives to formal training programmes including online learning, on-the-job training and job shadowing experts.
  • It’s an investment that yields better productivity and a happier, more loyal workforce. When the staff gets better, the business gets better.


The future of the workforce

A highly technical marketplace requires an upskilled and employable workforce. Get in touch with Adcorp Technical Training (ATT) today for access to courses that will get you ahead in the competitive job market with future fit skills.

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

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