Bursaries from the National Skills Fund for scarce skills

South Africa is one of the fastest developing economies in the world. This rapid development has been attained on the back of financial and human resources. Research however has also shown that there are currently as many as 829 800 unfilled positions for high skilled workers across a wide range of occupations in South Africa.

National Skills Fund bursaries

Some of the categories suffering the greatest skilled shortages are senior management, professions such as medicine, engineering, accounting and law. Technical occupations such as specialised technicians and artisans are also among the most affected. In order to mitigate this crisis, the National Research Foundation (NRF) through the human and institutional capacity development decided to start offering bursaries known as the Scarce Skills Development Fund (SSDF).

The objectives behind this fund include increasing the number and quality of South African postgraduate students in specified scarce skills areas, to work towards increased race and gender representation and to develop in conjunction with the higher education sector, industry and government postgraduate courses to meet specific needs of the country.

SSDF tries to address the severe shortage of various skills in the country by supporting Honours, Masters, Doctoral and Post-doctoral students.These academic categories are further divided into strategic areas such as Black Researchers/Academics Development (BRAD) and Masters in Accelerator and Nuclear Sciences and Material Sciences (MANuS MatSci).

Target numbers for this fund are 85% Blacks (African, Coloured, Indian) 54% Women and 4% Students with disability.

It is everyone’s hope that this fund will assist in alleviating the skills shortages problem in South Africa. National Research Foundation can be contacted on 0124814087.

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