Published report

Methodologies for Identifying Occupations for the 2020 List of Occupations in High Demand, Critical Skills List, and List of Priority Occupations

This report provides an overview of the three lists in terms of their purpose and relationship to one another. The main aim of the report is to present an indepth description of the respective methodology of each list in question.

Labour Market Intelligence Research Programme


Before 2014, the South African government identified the need for a credible institutional mechanism for skills planning (as reflected in the Medium-Term Strategic Framework). As part of the skills planning mechanism, government, in partnership with the PSET sector, is, among other things, required to identify occupations in demand – now and in the future. The list of OIHD represents the government’s response to this requirement. The first list was published in 2014 and has been updated every two years since. The 2020 list of OIHD will be the fourth iteration.

The LPO and CSL are new additions to this portfolio. The LPO responds to the requirements of the Medium-Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) as well, turning both the list of OIHD and the LPO into tools that can be utilised to create vital skills planning mechanisms in the country. The CSL, on the other hand, responds to Sections 19(4) and 27(a)(ii) of the Immigration Act, requiring the Minister of Home Affairs to determine which skills or qualifications are critical for the country when considering an application for a critical skills visa or permanent residence permit.

This publication covers

  • Definitions and purpose of the list of OIHD, the CSL & the LPO
  • Organising framework for occupations
  • Theoretical foundation for methodologies
  • Approach to the development of each list
  • Validation