Learners excel in scarce and critical fields of study

31 March 2015 Sandra Dunn, INSETA
Sandra Dunn, INSETA’s CEO.

Sandra Dunn, INSETA’s CEO.

INSETA's CEO Sandra Dunn is impressed with the academic performance of UP learners supported by the SETA.

INSETA’s CEO, Sandra Dunn says she’s thrilled to report outstanding academic performances from all the learners the SETA is providing bursaries for at the University of Pretoria (UP).

The learners are all from indigent and low income homes, and were selected for financial support based on their exceptional intellectual potential.

Stellar performances by all the learners

Dunn is therefore very proud to, on behalf of INSETA announce the following results achieved by the UP learners who received sponsorship from INSETA:

• 100% of these learners completed their year of study in 2014
• 100% of these learners passed in their year of study 2014

UP is one of the universities that INSETA sponsored in the 2014 financial year with R 2.4 million worth of bursaries for 41 learners. The two top INSETA learners at the UP in 2014 were:

1. Danielle Mitchell who was in her 2nd year studying Actuarial and Financial Maths. She achieved a 82% average and is currently in her 3rd year.
2. Msawakhe Nyangwa who was studying B Com, achieved a 71.06% average.

Dunn emphasizes that the results would not have been possible without the support and input provided by INSETA’s partner, the University of Pretoria. “What is remarkable is that the learners all studied towards qualifications related to scarce and critical skills in SA as well as the fact that they did so phenomenally well in these challenging fields of study,” explains Dunn. The UP learners who received bursaries were studying towards the following qualifications which are scarce and critical skills occupations in the insurance sector:

• BCOM; BCOM Honours and MCOM in Financial management Sciences;
• BCOM Financial sciences;
• BCOM Investment Management; and
• BSC Actuarial and Financial maths

Women make all the difference

“The fact that 78% of the learners are women is very important,” says Dunn.
She believes women are the greatest resource any country has. “Providing encouragement and opportunity for girls and women in the so-called SMET (science, maths, engineering and technology) fields of study is one the most powerful ways of accelerating the development of a country.”

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) says, “Studies find that if better use were made of the world’s female human capital:

• economic growth would increase in all countries
• the number of people living in poverty would decline in all countries
• fertility rates would rise in OECD countries and decline in non-OECD countries
• business performance and innovation would be enhanced
• the cost-effectiveness of health care and social programmes would be raised
• government policies would better respond to the needs of all citizens and
• environmental damage from unsustainable activities would decrease.”

The OECD further says that in recent decades a large share of economic growth in the OECD area has come from employing more women. “Since 1995, narrowing the gap between male and female employment rates has accounted for half of the increase in Europe’s overall employment rate and a quarter of annual economic growth. It is estimated that if female employment were raised to the male rate, growth in gross domestic product (GDP) would be substantial, particularly in countries such as Japan (CSR, 2007). Similarly, a study in the United Kingdom found that the country could gain 2% of GDP by better harnessing women’s skills (WWC, 2006).”

SMET careers are the way to go, but the road less travelled

Adcorp, a workforce management company estimates that there are over 800 000 unfilled positions for high-skilled workers across a wide range of occupations in South Africa.

Most of these vacancies are in scarce and critical skills, as evidenced by the phenomenal escalation in salaries for people filling these jobs. Adcorp estimates that salaries for people with scarce and critical skills have increased by a whopping 286,4% since 2000!

Adcorp’s research reveals that the highly-skilled categories suffering the greatest skilled shortages are:

• senior management
• the professions – medicine, engineering, accounting and the law
• technical occupations – specialised technicians and artisans and
• agriculture.

The workforce management company says in terms of actual numbers broken down by occupation, the skills shortage among technicians is over 430 000, among managers it is over 216 000 and among professionals it is over 178 000.

Adcorp warns that South Africa’s skills shortage poses a significant limitation on the country’s long-term economic growth potential, with viable economic opportunities often rendered thereby unviable.

Quick Polls


The shocking crime and motor vehicle accident statistics shared during a recent SHA presentation suggests that group personal accident and personal accident cover are a no-brainer. Do you agree?


Not sure
fanews magazine
FAnews April 2024 Get the latest issue of FAnews

This month's headlines

FAIS Ombud lashes broker for multiple compliance blunders
TCF… a regulatory misfit initiative?
The impact of NHI on medical malpractice insurance
Fixed versus variable: can you have your cake and eat it too?
The future world of work
Subscribe now