National engineering skills survey: an update

December 6th, 2013, Published in Articles: Vector

A shortage of engineers, technologists and technicians could severely hamper South Africa’s growth and infrastructure plans. A national survey was launched to determine the extent of the shortages in these critical skills areas and to provide government data to map the country’s technical skills provisioning.
The National engineering skills survey will give an overview of the numbers, qualifications, age and gender profiles and geographical spread of professionals in the engineering industry. Funded by the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA), the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and the Economic Development Department (EDD), the survey ran until 15 December 2013 in the hopes of attracting over 10 000 respondents (engineers, technicians and technologists) for a good sense of the required skills planning for SA, says acting ECSA CEO Edgar Sabela.

ECSA has called on all registered and non-registered engineers, certificated engineers, engineering technicians and engineering technologists to participate in the online survey.

DHET deputy director-general Dr. Adrienne Bird stresses that the survey is not only aimed at professional engineers: “The education pathways of technicians and technologist through the artisan, technical college, technikon or university of technology routes is of particular interest as South Africa is considering articulation pathways for future training. Our technicians and technologists are very important players in our infrastructure projects.”

The survey’s findings are expected in April 2014 and will include geographical and gender profiling, qualifications and the role of voluntary organisations in the industry. The survey is available online at

Contact Lillian Mlambo, Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA),
Tel 011 607-9500,

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