South African minister reiterates call for critical skills for development

South African Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology Blade Nzimande on Tuesday called for the prioritization of the high demand jobs which would help develop the country.

Nzimande made the remarks on the occasion of the Alliance for Collaboration on Climate and Earth systems Science virtual conference on perspectives on Global Change.

He pointed out that the country urgently requires people trained in science and critical skills.

“We have identified 345 occupations that are in high demand out of a total of 1,500 registered in our organizing framework for occupations. This list is updated every two years, and marks an important step towards helping us understand better the needs of the labor market and signals opportunities where our students and graduates are likely to stand a better chance of finding employment,” said Nzimande.

According to Nzimande, the high-demand occupations include data scientists, web developer, computer network technician, electrical engineer, concentrated solar power process controller, mechatronics technician, toolmaker, gaming worker, crop produce analyst and agricultural scientist.

He stated that South Africa is eager to grow the research capacity to ensure it contributes to development in the country and beyond.

He said, “The world now recognizes the importance of a modern graduate not just to have a degree but to have unique skills and experiences, including soft skills.”

Nzimande called for researchers to “solve concrete and practical problems” and collaborate to address urgent issues.

-Xinhua

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