Engineers and Technicians

by STEYN, G., DANIELS, R.C., 2003
HRD Review 2003: Education, Employment and Skills in South Africa. Cape Town: Human Sciences Research Council Press. Chpt 24, pp 555-583.

Steyn and Daniels evaluate the labour market for engineers and technicians, looking at two key themes: the demand for engineers and technicians in the labour market, and the supply of engineering skills. Employment trends, occupational shifts and projected demand are evaluated, as well as the responsiveness of tertiary institutions to changes in the structure of demand. The research shows that important substitution shifts are occurring in the economy, away from sectors that traditionally employed engineers. The chapter discusses the reduction in the number of engineering graduates from the tertiary education system and the declining numbers of school-leavers with appropriate maths and science qualifications. Despite the overall reduction in the number of engineering graduates, however, there has been an increase in the number of post-graduate engineering qualifications, suggesting that a higher order of skills is required in the labour market and that tertiary institutions are responding accordingly.