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South African employers are scrambling to hire electricians, carpenters and bricklayers, as well as managers and executives, even though the country has an unemployment crisis. This highlights SA’s acute skills shortage while it also has an oversupply of job-seekers who are not suitably qualified. A total of 750 employers were surveyed by placement company Manpower Group in its annual Talent Shortage Survey, 34% of whom said they were finding it difficult to fill positions. The 34% was three percentage points higher than in 2015 and a significant 26 percentage points higher than in 2014. SA’s skills shortage crisis, coupled with low levels of tertiary and good quality education, means the bulk of its population, particularly its youth, is locked out of the active labour market. The government and business have intensified efforts to get young people into internship programmes, with businesses often offered tax incentives. Management or executive; office support staff such as secreta...

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