C-suite execs make the cut on latest critical skills list

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  • Government has included corporate general managers and directors on the latest version of its critical skills list.
  • The latest version of the list includes 101 occupation codes as regulated by the South African Qualifications Authority.
  • The list includes tax professionals, investment managers, economists, chief information officers, civil engineers, naval architects and quantity surveyors.

Corporate general managers and directors have been included on the latest critical skills list after the category was left off a draft version of the list released last year.

The critical skills list is a list of qualifications that government's migration authorities commits to prioritising when allowing working expatriates to have a regulated legal stay in South Africa with a view of allowing skills that are locally scarce into the country.

Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi finalised his determinations for the list of qualifications to make the list, which was released on Thursday evening. The latest version of the list includes 101 occupation codes as regulated by the South African Qualifications Authority.

When a draft version of the list was released last year, it excluded c-suite executives, a category business groups believed was critical for business leadership in expanding South African companies' operations beyond South African borders.

The list includes business leadership categories including directors, policy and planning managers, project managers and corporate managers.

Xpatweb director Marisa Jacobs said the list was a long-awaited and critical step in responsive immigration. Jacobs said immigration policy has vital third-party processes, but they take extremely long. This contradicts the purpose of the list, which is fast-tracking the drawing of skills.

"From a business perspective, we welcome the corporate manager- and director-level inclusion. I [sit] on the body where the list was discussed, and we advocated for this inclusion. We see it as a very big win," said Jacobs.

Jacobs said the list is representative of the skills shortages that South Africa has, including engineering, which is in high demand worldwide. She said the list was overall slightly shorter than usual and represented a variety of skills and industries.

"I think from a business perspective, there will be a lot of praise for the new list. If we look at the survey that we do on critical skills, business gave feedback into the survey and how the final list came to fruition lines up quite well," Jacobs said.

Also on the list are tax professionals, investment managers, economists, chief information officers, research development managers, environmental managers, physicists, chemists, geologists, mineralogists, hydrologists, microbiologists, civil engineers, naval architects and quantity surveyors.

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