AbstractsBusiness Management & Administration

Exploring what companies are doing to manage the shortage of technical skills in the South African manufacturing sector of fast moving consumer goods

by Thigenthren Moodley

Institution: Stellenbosch University
Degree: MBA
Year: 2014
Keywords: Business management; UCTD
Record ID: 1453459
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/96215


The government of South Africa aspires to achieve a six percent economic growth per annum. The scarcity of qualified and experienced people that are crucial in contributing to economic growth and creating job opportunities, poses a problem for the country. The current demand for skills that are out of reach for many workers and the prevailing unemployment that is caused by the mismatch between what an organisation seeks and what a potential candidate can provide, have been highlighted as a critical cause for the scarcity of skills. The aim of this research assignment was to examine the current crisis of the skills shortage in the South African economy, with the focus on the manufacturing sector within the FMCG industry. Semi-structured and open-ended interviews with human resource, training and development, as well as technical managers in manufacturing organisations in Cape Town, South Africa were conducted. Data was obtained from a sample of six managers. According to all respondents interviewed, it takes approximately two to six months to replace an employee who has the appropriate technical skills. All the respondents are concerned with the situation of the technical skills shortage in the country. Consequently, these respondents’ companies engage in a talent war in order to recruit the best talent. It is therefore obvious that the market dynamics of supply and demand are out of equilibrium with regard to technically skilled employees in the manufacturing segment of the South African FMCG industry. The interviews that were conducted identified some companies that train new employees in technical skills. However, the majority of the companies are not doing much to improve the situation. In addition, the companies in this sector also compete with the other industries in the South African and the global economy regarding technical skills.