What skills are in short supply around the world?

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By : Siya Mazibuko
South African Economist

With globalization on the rise, countries and organisations all over the world are in desperate need of skills to fulfil the growing number of jobs available post-pandemic. Here Abroadscope looks at countries all over the world that offer skills visas and which career you should pursue to qualify.

The UK and the Republic of Ireland –

United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland): Despite recent political uncertainty, the United Kingdom remains a favourite amongst expats because of its currency, opportunities and multiculturalism. The June to August 2022 unemployment rate dropped by 0.3 percentage points from the prior quarter to 3.5%, which is the lowest level seen from December to February 1974. The ratio of unemployed individuals to open positions decreased to a historic low of 0.9 from June to August 2022.

To fill the approximately 270,000 jobs available, the UK  has introduced the Skilled Worker visa that allows you to come to or stay in the UK to do an eligible job with an approved employer.

Healthcare – which is a popular choice has its own route and jobs are plentiful post-pandemic.

Production managers in manufacturing, construction and operations financial services – Accountants, clerks, directors, CEO etc.

South Africa remains a member of the Commonwealth and thus trade of all sorts is a historical norm. 

Ireland –

Ireland has good diplomatic relations with South Africa which reflects both countries’ commitment to visa-free travel for short stays, but visas are required for employment purposes. While the Covid-19 pandemic has been tough for many sectors, the Irish economy saw a 3.4% increase in GDP. In fact, Ireland was the only country in Europe lucky enough to experience growth in 2020.

Ireland’s GDP has been the fastest increasing in Europe since 2017. And this upward trajectory is expected to continue through 2022. However, it will take employment rates some time to return to pre-pandemic levels. In 2019, the economy was nearly at full employment.

But the good news is the labour market is performing well overall and there are job opportunities out there. In sectors like healthcare and social care, ICT businesses and finance amongst others.

Rest of Europe –

The need for labour, as shown by the job vacancy rate, has somewhat reached pre-pandemic levels in the first quarter of 2022 across Europe, where there is a specific lack of digital skills needed in the information and communications sector.

Skills such as ICT specialists, doctors, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professionals, nurses and midwives, and teachers are the top five occupations in the EU with a talent gap. However, the situation varies amongst nations. All Member States – except for Finland – lack ICT experts, however, there is no shortage of teachers in Belgium, Greece, Spain, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Portugal, or the UK.

Different nations are also concerned about other professions. There is a scarcity of legal specialists in France and Estonia. The UK, Ireland, Luxembourg, and Hungary all require financial experts. The demand for architects with ecological expertise is rising in Italy.

North and Central America –

Approximately 140,000 employment-based immigrant visas are made available to qualified applicants each fiscal year (October 1 – September 30) under the terms of U.S. immigration law. These routes to visas are classified by categories like Employment Fourth Preference (E4): Certain Special Immigrants like Persons with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business. Exceptional ability means having a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts, or business., Employment Second Preference (E2): Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees and Persons of Exceptional Ability.

Although digital jobs are still in demand, computer engineers are no longer the most difficult to find employees. There is a labour shortage for hotel staff, restaurant employees, and home health care caregivers. The change is taking place as an increasing number of students are inspired by the digital age. Other American countries like Canada are suffering from a serious shortage of workers with digital and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) skills, all amid low unemployment and a tight labour market, The current unemployment rate is around 2.1 % and the opportunities are plentiful.

Asia –

The World Bank has raised its economic forecast for Malaysia from 5.5 to 6.4 percent and made similar upward revisions for the Philippines (5.7 to 6.5 percent), Thailand (2.9 to 3.1 percent), and Cambodia (4.5 to 4.8 percent), and this areas apart from the traditional big players from Asia like Japan, China, South Korea that opportunities in the job market seem to be most prevalent. 

Three sectors: financial and business services; technology, media and telecommunications (TMT); and manufacturing are the biggest growth areas targeted for immense growth in the next few financial years.

English teaching and communication is also another industry that continues to grow as more and more countries converge on English as a lingua franca that eliminates the costs of doing business and fosters new relationships. With over half of South Africans at least understanding it, it’s a no-brainer to consider Asia as an alternative opportunity.

Visa options for work are cordial and Abroadscope has the expertise to help get you a visa without a hassle.

Oceania –

Australia and New Zealand are amongst the most popular immigration options for South Africans because of the job opportunities available, similar weather conditions and large communities of South Africans already living there. At present Australia has the “good problem” of an unemployment rate of just 3.4 percent, and some of the most in-demand occupations include nurses, software programmers, aged care workers, construction managers and child care workers.

In New Zealand, construction, infrastructure, engineering, health and social services skills are contained in occupations in critical shortage in these industries across New Zealand. An Essential Skills work visa allows you to work in New Zealand temporarily and Abroadscope is equipped with the know-how to help you attain it.

Your career choices can have a big impact on your career trajectory and Abroadscope offers the support to reach your dreams. With expert knowledge of immigration, foreign exchange and financial relocation we are ready to help.

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