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A sector with a skills crunch? Now there’s an app for that

18 February 2021

The surprisingly optimistic outlook for South Africa’s construction sector has one primary challenge still to solve – matching the right skills with the right organisations. Very soon – in fact within the week – companies, organisations and even State Owned Entities and technical departments, will have access to an app-driven solution – The GradStar Campus App.

Last week, Consulting Engineers Southern Africa hosted an important press conference, giving an overview of South Africa’s construction sector and its outlook for the coming year. Happily, there was a generally upbeat sentiment that projects – especially from the public sector – and the funding to realise them – are coming. Whilst the need for vaccinating the country was cited as a pre-condition, the greatest challenge right now for the sector is finding the right skill base.

 Entering its sixth year, GradStar is a programme that invites all university students across South Africa to participate in a rigorous 4 phase judging process, culminating in a day of workshops hosted by potential employers (sponsors). Through this programme, the Top 100 students judged on leadership criteria and readiness for the workplace are recognised and celebrated, finally drawing out ’10 of the Finest’ to be announced at a Gala Dinner to take place at the Indaba Hotel on 16th September, 2021 (www.gradstar.com). 

 “With the support of GradStar and at the request of the students, we have developed a unique matching app that allows employers to search, match and make contact with students by discipline, course, BEE, Gender, grade average and much much more,” say developer, Laura Barker. “With a R3000 per month subscription you can register up to five users, with unlimited searches to help you with all student recruitment. As a launch offer, participation will also allow you to post your messaging on the student social walls.”

The merging of South Africa’s corporate and social needs has taken a surprisingly strong turn in response to the COVID pandemic. Apps like this are no novelty: when it comes to the construction sector. Over ten years ago, Alison Lawless predicted that the management and nurturing of engineering students would become the driving force to solve the sectors’ challenges. There is no doubt that this is a welcome technology for all South Africa, but for the construction sector, it is bound to become a must-have utility. For more information – or to sign up now: Contact [email protected] or [email protected]

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