A big problem in South Africa is job matching, skills mismatch, and integration of individuals into the local job market.
While we at Express have spoken about this topic many times, the importance of this topic requires it. As the job market changes and the emergence of digitalisation and the Fourth Industrial Revolutions continues to affect the workforce, and the subsequent rise of job mismatch, it’s important to be reminded of job matching and integration of this into the job market, as well as the solutions to counteract this problem.
More and more, countries across the globe, including South Africa, are experiencing a big problem when it comes to job matching, matching skills and labour market needs, and the integration of individuals into the job market.
As a high-priority concern, skills mismatches occur when workers have either fewer or more skills than jobs require. This mismatch is not only costly for employers and workers, but for local and global society at large.
According to the World Economic Forum, many employers report difficulties in finding suitably skilled workers, and these shortages could be addressed by changes in training and recruitment practices, as well as by facilitating labour mobility. “A more worrying phenomenon is sizable qualification mismatch… Qualification mismatch occurs when a worker’s qualification level is higher or lower than that required by the job. Although the match between what people can actually do and the content of their jobs may improve over time, qualification mismatch can be persistent and leave an adverse or ‘scarring’ effect on an individual’s career. In addition, unused skills will atrophy, resulting in a partial loss of the (initial) investment in them.”
Skills mismatch requires immediate action as well as a long-term comprehensive strategy. As reported by the World Economic Forum, “Activation strategies should not only focus on the immediate benefit of filling a job vacancy but also consider the long-term consequences of training and placement decisions on individuals’ employability and adaptability.”
In our dynamic, globalised world, skills have become more important. With this, skills relevant for the working world need to be maintained and continuously improved during working life to ensure they are recognised and used by employers once people are in the labour market.
Businesses taking on a ‘matching skills’ approach will provide the right skills needed in the labour market. The provision of workplace training can help both young people and the unemployed to build links with the labour market and gain useful work-related skills. “Knowledge clusters, in which companies adopt innovative product market strategies and interact with educational institutions, can foster the creation of skill-intensive jobs and a better match with workforce skills.”
It is imperative, too, that labour market policies must focus on building the human capital of the low-skilled unemployed. Through workplace learning, retraining, and skills, this could improve the match of job seekers’ skills with those skills likely required by jobs. Furthermore, action is needed to reduce the gap between knowledge generated in the educational system and the skills demanded by employers. Constant intervention is needed throughout the employment life cycle, with skill development targeted. All employers need to have stronger involvement in and ownership of skills, given the importance of helping workers develop and maintain their skills by fully utilising them. Offering learning opportunities is key here.
For more information on this topic, or for jobs that match your skills, speak to our team at Express today. Email firstname.lastname@example.org today.