Immigration Policy – Open or Closed?
It is no secret that South Africa needs more skilled workers. The education system that is currently in place is not producing the number of skilled workers that is needed. Having an open policy in place would encourage people to get the necessary skills training.
Skills security is what is desperately needed in South Africa. The days of job security are gone, unless you are extremely good at what you do. Being educated is the key to making sure that you are employable. Without having skills, the chances of finding employment in South Africa are very slim.
The shortage of skills in not limited to South Africa – it is an international problem. People follow the money and want to immigrate to countries where there are jobs available. Those who have skills, have a much better chance of getting their foot in the door.
South Africa needs to make sure that we get our piece of the pie as far as direct foreign investments are concerned. People who are considering immigrating to SA want to know that their investments will be safe, that they can buy property and not need to worry about the choices they have made.
South Africa is part of the global economy and it time that we recognize that! Skills are mobile and will go with us wherever we decide to go. Talented people are always needed and the fact that they are in such high demand is the reason why the country is encouraging new talent to immigrate here.
The industrial economy is over and knowledge is more important that machinery these days. The international focus is on creativity and innovation, and in order for us to be at the forefront of this new economy, we need intellectual capital. Keeping our research scientists, engineers, writers and actuaries in South Africa is vital if we want to grow as a country.
So how does the government know when to adjust or alter the immigration policy to increase economic growth? The simple answer is that there needs to be a better relationship between the different areas of government. Working together instead of being isolated is the only way that this can be achieved.
By Robbie Ragless