South Africa: Reinventing Tertiary Education

analysis

Rapid technological development is threatening mid-skill jobs while creating an unfilled demand for high-skill jobs. A Cape Town startup is providing a solution for both problems.

Unemployment across the developed world is at the lowest level in history, yet the uncomfortable reality is that both routine and non-routine tasks are increasingly vulnerable to automation.

South Africa, with its extremely high level of unemployment, does not fall into this category, but what jobs it has are just as vulnerable.

Already we have seen employment shift from mid-skill jobs to high- and low-skill jobs as technological development has enabled machines and software to perform non-core functions.

As the cost of these machines and programmes fall, they become substitutes for the people who previously completed the tasks, leading to employment losses. Just look at what is happening in this country's banking sector and the inability of unions and workers to prevent it.

Other vulnerable occupations include bookkeepers, paralegals and ICT support. Source: Hays Global Skills Index.

At the same time as jobs are being shed, the divide between the skills held by job seekers and those required by employers continues to grow -- job seekers (including graduates) simply do not have the skills...

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