The road to the launch of the 2022 Critical Skills List
Director of Corporate Accounts at the DHA, Mr Phindiwe Mbhele, unpacked the history of the Immigration Act, zooming in on the implementation of Critical Skills programmes from the 2006 Scarce and Critical Skills List, to the 2009 revised Critical Skills List, to the 2014 revised Quota List, and finally the most recent Critical Skills list gazetted in February 2022.
Mr Mbhele went on to explain the all-important evidence-based approach that the Department undertook in partnership with the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) to ensure a comprehensive list supported by the latest data in terms of the labour market demand and available skills. This evidence would need to be replicable, transparent and benchmarked.
The Criteria, Mr Mbhele remarked on, was that it should –
- Satisfy a strategic priority for the country;
- Be in acute shortage that would require workers that are highly qualified or skilled; as well as
- Proof that it would take South Africa a long time to develop such skills within the country.
The draft list was published as a result hereof, public comments received, and a formal NEDLAC consultation process followed to derive at the final list.
Mr Mbhele further mirrored the highlights deduced in an earlier detailed article with the following notable extracts –
- Qualifications, specifically NQF levels, would be key to the eligibility of candidates.
- A firm offer of employment would be required.
- Executive level categories would remain on the list albeit with additional minimum threshold requirements.
- Teachers and University lecturers in specific fields have been included.
- Post qualification experience will need to be vetted for Permanent Residency applications.
Critical Skills Survey – Practical Takeaways
Managing Director of Xpatweb, Marisa Jacobs, briefly unpacked results from the latest Critical Skills survey that formed critical evidence impacting the final list published.
Jacobs highlighted results from the survey that the most difficult occupations to recruit in South Africa were Engineers, ICT Specialists, Foreign Language Speakers and Media & Marketing Specialists.
Jacobs went on to outline the importance of practical solutions for employers amidst legislation changes. Facilitation of quick and convenient submissions processes at their local office in Johannesburg is a popular alternative to submitting with VFS application centres allowing for quick and convenient processing and a premium service to clients.
“A predefined roadmap is key to assisting any employer or expatriate professional with their needs. Category selection, travel requirements, projected start date and country of submission are but some of the factors that need to be accounted for in a proactive, solution driven planning approach with clear and predictable steps to achieve a fully compliant visa application in the most efficient way possible. For this to happen, an upfront engagement to plan for any possible roadblocks is essential.”
From the horse’s mouth – A South African first global mobility conference
Mr Yusuf Simons (Acting Deputy Director-General of Immigration Services) accompanied by Mr Mbhele and Advocate Deon Erasmus (Acting Chief Director of Permits) from the DHA will be delivering the Keynote address at the Xpatweb Global Mobility conference later this month on June 30th.
They will specifically cover pertinent topics including the new Critical Skills List, central adjudication structure, challenges, and latest initiatives.
You can learn more about the conference here: https://www.xpatweb.com/reinventing-mobility-a-new-roadmap/