Priority, scarce and critical skills – defined
If you work within the training and development field, you are probably familiar with the terms: priority, scarce and critical skills. The question is, do you know what it means for your skills development strategy in your workplace?
Here is a quick definition guide, drawn from various sector education training authorities and Department of Higher Education and Training documents:
A scarce skill refers to the demand for skilled people to fill particular professions or occupations in the labour department. There are several reasons why there is a scarcity of skills. For example, new tech industries may require data scientists which is a fairly new occupation – making it difficult for companies to source these kinds of scientists.
Critical skills are “top-up” skills within an occupation. These skills are specific to an occupation where there are visible skills gaps. Skills gaps arise from improved technologies, for example, managers may need to be trained on diversity management because of the growing focus on transformation in the workplace.
Priority skills refer to scarce and critical skills that may arise at any given time and are determined by identifying scarce and critical skills.
Core skills are unique to an organisation. For instance, our client sells surgical products such as hip joints. In addition to the usual sales and marketing skillset, their sales representatives must also be knowledgeable about the anatomy of the body or, more specifically, the hips which forms a core skill for their business. After all, they won’t be able to sell their products if they don’t understand how it fits into the human body.
A well-defined integrated skills development strategy carefully considers the scarce and critical skills required to operate in your sector. It is important to include these in your annual work skills plan. But you also need to ensure that you identify the right employees for such training as your strategy should also be aimed at meeting your BBEEE skills development element target in terms of the BBBEE codes.
At ProudAfrique Human Capital we pride ourselves by assisting you to source or develop client specific skills programmes to meet the Challenges of business and requirements of the BEE Codes.