Skills other countries are looking for

Skills other countries are looking for

Skills Other Countries Are Looking For

The skills exodus from South Africa has never been as palpable as it is right now. Oddly though, the exodus has a new primary driver – Covid. Although the virus itself has not made saffas flee the nation, the world’s response to the country has.

With so many people losing their income and livelihood, the realisation that any possible turnaround will take months to years to achieve locally is pushing many people who have never considered emigration to packing up and shipping out.

But where should you go? What skills will get companies sponsoring you to move abroad?

These jobs will get you settled abroad

Rand Rescue looked at the crucial skills and jobs the most popular expat destinations are looking for.

How are these skills lists compiled?

It should be noted that the skills shortage lists are quite long, and some skills are specific to short-term visas, some are specific to long-term visas and some are listed for special visas. Some sites base their skills shortage lists on the number of jobs posted for particular roles over a certain period.

In order to keep the list concise, we’ve combined the positions which are most in demand across all types of visas and lists. 

Though there is relative overlap with regards to industries, some jobs have been grouped differently for some countries since the sectoral overlap varies between regions.

General notes

There are several routes to immigration, but we are focusing on occupational routes. Some countries offer additional routes to immigration and additional types of visas, such as student visas, diplomatic visas or even allow you fast-tracked immigration if you are highly talented in arts, entertainment or sports.

If you have family in the country you’re moving from or can claim ancestral links, some countries will also consider this a plus.

If you own property or open a business in certain regions you’re likely to get immediate or fast-tracked citizenship. For those who are already living in the EU, it’s advised to seek employment in other EU/EFTA regions through EURES.

Many countries have restrictions based on age, health, employment record,  credit score, criminal activity/history and so forth. We’ll cover a bit more on that in our next blog.

The USA is not listed below since they don’t have any skills shortage lists. Though they do have certain criteria which determine rules for different kinds of jobs, each case is vetted on personal merit.

New Zealand

Art & design: animators, game developers & digital artists
Food services: chefs, bakers, food technologists & winemakers
Sport: professional players & coaches
Agriculture: farmers, viticulturists & beekeepers
Supply chain: buyers & managers
Logistics: heavy truck drivers
Business & finance: project managers & accountants
Telecoms: engineers, technicians & mechanics
Education: teachers (all levels) & tertiary lecturers
Automotive: electricians, refinishers & technicians
Medical & healthcare: all doctors & medical specialists, laboratory scientists & medical physicists.
Nature & animals: environmental scientists, horse trainers, veterinarians & environmental engineers
Engineering: all roles
Construction: all roles
Maintenance and repair: all roles
IT: all roles

United Kingdom

IT: software developers, web developers, programmers, IT architects & systems designers
Business: business analysts
Retail & sales:
Automotive: automotive body builders, repairers & vehicle valets 
Logistics & shipping: postal workers & couriers
Manufacturing & industrial: packers, bottlers, canners & fillers
General service: driving instructors
City planning & maintenance: water plant operatives, sewerage plant operatives & sewerage plant operatives
Geology: engineering geologists, hydrogeologists, geophysicists, geoscientists, geologists, geochemists, decommissioning and nuclear waste specialists, resource geologists & mining geologists
Education & childcare: secondary education teaching professionals
Financial services & administration: bio-information actuaries, informaticians & economic analysts
Construction: architects & quantity surveyors
Entertainment, film & media: ballet dancers, contemporary dancers, orchestral musicians, producers, directors & arts officers
Trade workers: integrity pipe welders
Arts & creative: fine artists, sculptors & graphic designers
Agriculture & fisheries: vent chick sexers & fishing vessel deckhands
Engineering: all roles
Medical & healthcare: all roles
Science: all roles


Medical & healthcare: doctors, general surgeons, nurses, eldercare professionals, radiographers, paramedics, nuclear medicine professionals, pharmacists, dentists, optometrists, dieticians, dermatologists, laser technologists, sonographers, psychiatrists, physiotherapists, neurologists, anaesthetists, neonatal nurses, orthopaedic surgeons, endocrinologists, obstetricians, cardiologists, colorectal surgeons, critical care medicine specialists, geriatric medicine specialists, haematologists, epidemiologists, virologists.
IT & telecoms: telecommunications specialists, computer scientists, network engineers, biometric specialists, AI developers, IoT specialists, data entry clerks, software developers, IT application consultants,
Science: all roles
Engineering: structural engineers, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, automotive engineers, robotics engineers, plant engineers,
Tradesmen: fitters & turners, upholsterers, carpenters, electrical technicians, equipment electricians, service technicians, panelbeaters & cable installers
Construction & city planning: forklift operators, drywall installers, insulation installers, glazers, finishing artists, well construction specialists, canal & tunnel construction specialists, sanitation technologists, air conditioning technologists, heating specialist
Hospitality & food services: pastry chefs, bakers, catering specialists,
Retail: retail sales professionals & sales assistants
Education: TEFL teachers, ESL teachers, teacher’s assistants, special needs educators, early childhood educators, university professors, driving instructors & lecturers
Manufacturing & industrial: manufacturing mechanic, ceramic moulding machine operators, packers, versatile manufacturing agents
Logistics & supply chain: road freight operation agents, logisticians, dispatch employees, imports & exports specialists
Finance & financial services: accountants, debtors clerks, salary clerks, accounts payable clerks, payroll calculators, bookkeepers, financial accountants, accounts receivable clerks, business economists, loan clerks & tax clerks
Business: purchasing assistants, receptionists, internal sales clerks, customer service specialist, HR assistants, after-sales assistants, project managers, team assistants & personnel clerks


Automotive: all roles
Retail: furniture store staff, pharmacy staff & convenience store staff
Property: property managers, property maintenance workers & interior building cleaners
Medical & healthcare: nursing caretakers
Construction: formwork construction workers, earthworkers, interior finishers, material mounters, plasterers, roofers, concrete pump workers, tunnel & propulsion workers, reinforcement construction workers & bar joint reinforcers
Manufacturing: electronic machinists, finishers, pointed writing board manufacturers, machine maintenance workers, plastic molders, electronic equipment assemblers, platers, welders, casters, industrial packagers, metal press workers, die casters, machine inspectors, aluminium anodizers, electroplaters, shipbuilders & electrical equipment assemblers.
Automotive: inspectors, maintenance workers & disassembly workers
Aviation: airport ground handling workers & aircraft maintenance workers
Hospitality: front-of-house workers, PR workers & restaurant staff
Agriculture & aquaculture: fishers, crop farmers & livestock farmers


Business & retail: business representatives, retail managers,customers service specialists, records managers, receptionists, personal assistants, 
Finance & financial services: financial officers, auditors, accountants, investment dealers, brokers, insurance agents, investment officers, insurance office workers, insurance underwriters, insurance assessors, claims examiners, financial supervisors & revenue officers
Construction & city planning: construction managers, home building managers,  land surveyors, urban land use planners, construction estimators, drafting technologists, architects, architectural technicians & construction inspectors
Aviation:  pilots, air traffic controllers, flying instructors, aerospace engineers,
Property: building renovators, property administrators, interior decorators, renovation managers, 
Medical & healthcare: medical administrative assistants, podiatrists, dentists, optometrists, chiropractors, pharmacists, pharmaceutical assistants, denturists, massage therapists, paramedic, respiratory therapists, natural healing practitioners, sonographers & dental hygienists
Scientists: astronomers, geoscientists, climatologists, oceanographers, biologists, meteorologists & climatologists
Social & civil services: social workers, community service workers, religious support staff, religious leaders, family counsellors, embalmers, funeral directors & government program officers
Media & communication: publishers, writers, authors, editors, journalists, translators, broadcast technicians, video recording technicians, audio recording technicians, graphic designers,
Entertainment & film: producers, motion pictures managers, conductors, musicians, choreographers, composers, arrangers, dancers, actors, comedians, videographers, photographers, announcers & camera operators
Environmental & natural resources: forestry professionals, landscape architects, mineral technologists, conservation officers, fishery officers, horticulture technicians, landscape specialists, veterinarians, logging operators, fishing masters, mineral processing supervisors
Arts & culture: library managers, art gallery managers, museum managers, archive managers, curators, conservators, painters, sculptors, craftspersons illustrators & library supervisors
Logistics & distribution: mail workers, messengers, deck officers, water transport specialists, railway traffic controllers, marine traffic regulators,
Hospitality & tourism: accommodation service managers, restaurant managers, food services managers, conference planners, food service supervisors, executive housekeepers, travel supervisors, accommodation supervisors, chefs, cooks, butchers, fishmongers, bakers & events planners
Sports & fitness: fitness instructors, athletes, coaches, sports officials & referees, recreation researchers, fitness consultants, sports program officers & sports researchers
Industrial & trade workers: shoe repairers, shoemakers, cabinet makers, electricians, welders, machine operators, ironworkers, boilermakers, die makers, toolmakers, machinists, gas fitters, roofers, insulators, floor covering installers & machine fitters
Fashion & beauty: hairdressers, hair stylists, barbers, shoe repairers, shoemakers, patternmakers, furriers, milliners, dressmakers, jewellers, watch repairers & beauticians
Safety, policing & military: commissioned police officers, fire chiefs, senior firefighting officers, commissioned officers for the Canadian Force, customs officers, customs brokers,
Law & governance: legal administrative assistants, court officers, justices of the peace, notaries, judges & court reporters
IT: web designers, web developers, software engineers, software designers, information systems analysts, computer programmers, interactive media developers, database analysts, data administrators, information systems consultants, computer network technicians, information systems testing technicians,
Engineering: all roles
Petrochemicals: all roles
Mining: all roles


Construction: all roles
Education: TEFL teachers
Hospitality: all roles

South Korea

Education: TEFL teachers
Mining & metallurgy: steel plant workers
Manufacturing: vehicle builders, shipbuilders, electronics assemblers & semiconductor builders
Mobile telecommunications: all roles
Petrochemicals: all roles


Arts & entertainment: writers, musicians, fine artists, actors, dancers, performance artists & choreographers
Education & childcare: camp counselors, TEFL teachers, EAL teachers, tutors, nannies, au pairs, governesses/governors, educational assistants & summer holiday program coordinators
Hospitality & tourism: pub crawl coordinator, ski resort waiters/waitresses, ski instructors, tour guides, maître/maîtresse d’hôtel, receptionists, restaurant cashiers, bartenders, activity leaders, housekeepers, reservation agents & chauffeurs
Property: real estate agents, interior decorators & property lead generators
Languages: language ambassadors, writers, editors & translators
Agriculture: agricultural trainees
Business: business developers, receptionists, sales development representatives & administrative assistants, research analysts & project managers, executive assistants, research managers, office managers & commercial assistants
Logistics & supply chain: imports/exports specialists & commercial import/export assistants
IT: data engineers, web designers, animators & software engineers
Marketing & media: community managers, digital marketers & graphic designers
Finance & financial services: FX sales specialists


IT: specialist IT managers, IT project & programme managers, business analysts, business architects, systems designers, programmers, software developers, web designers, web developers, IT directors, data miners, data modellers & telecommunications directors
Medical & healthcare: health services managers, public health directors, medical practitioners, industrial pharmacists, radiographers, radiation therapists, vascular technologists, gastro-intestinal technologists, audiologists, perfusionists, dieticians, orthoptists, nurses, midwives, prosthetists, orthotists, respiratory physiologists, paramedics and advanced paramedic practitioners
Science: medical laboratory scientists, chemical scientists, biotechnologists, biological scientists, biochemists, physical scientists,
Engineering: civil engineers, structural engineers, site engineers, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, chemical process engineers & setting out engineers
Electronics: chip designers, test engineers, application engineers, process automation engineers, transmission specialists, power generation specialists &  façade designers
Education & childcare
Business: management consultants, business analysts, analysts with advanced maths skills, project managers, risk analysts, credit analysts, fraud analysts & statisticians
Finance & financial services: chartered accountants, actuaries, tax specialists, financial managers, financial compliance officers, financial regulation specialist, auditors, non-EEA tax consultants, investment analysts & lawyers specialising in tax
Construction & town planning: architects, quantity surveyors, architectural technologists, planning engineers, environmental health professionals & construction project managers
Social & civil service: social workers
Manufacturing & industrial: site managers, material scientists, quality controllers, regulatory professionals,
Arts & media: art directors, 2D animators, 3D animators, location designers, character designers, prop designers & animation layout artists
Sports: high performance coaches & high profile sports directors
Sales: ITB2B sales specialists, product strategy developers & product strategy managers

United Arab Emirates

HR: Human resource managers, recruiters & administrators
Finance & financial services: finance managers, financial controllers, FP&A managers, financial analysts,  financial directors & hybrid tech-focused roles
Education: TEFL teachers & summer teaching jobs
Hospitality: all roles
Construction: all roles
Manufacturing: textiles, clothing & boat building
Petrochemicals: all


Business: business consultants, project managers & management consultants
Agriculture: harvesters
Education & childcare: TEFL teachers, nannies & pre-primary teachers
Engineering: geotechnical engineers, reservoir panel engineers, soil mechanics engineers, mining geotechnical engineers, petroleum engineers, drilling engineers, tunneling engineers, mining & coal engineers, power systems engineers, aerospace engineers, contaminated land engineers & civil engineers
Environmental & Animals: contaminated land engineer, geo-environment specialist & zoologists
Medical & Healthcare: clinical neurophysiologists, emergency medicine practitioners, genitourinary medicine specialists, hematologists, neurologists, occupational medicine practitioners, forensic psychiatrists, anaesthetists, pediatricians, obstetricians, trauma surgeons, general surgeons, specialised nurses, neonatal nurses, therapeutic radiographers, diagnostic radiographers, sonographers, nuclear medicine technologists, cardiac physiologists, clinical vascular scientists, respiratory physiologists & sleep physiologists
Trade workers: locksmiths & general electricians
Automotive: panelbeaters


Marketing & media: digital marketers, content creators, social media specialists, marketing specialists, copywriters, market research analysts & account executives
IT: web developers, data operators, software developers, mobile app developers, testers, cybersecurity specialists, data scientists, software engineers, software architects & IT trainers
Engineering: all roles
Construction: all roles
Medical & healthcare: nursing care workers, health & safety officers
Manufacturing: jewellers, watch parts assemblers, medical device assemblers, clothing manufacturers & textile workers
Business: corporate administrator, project managers, customer service officers, human resource officers, business development coordinators, program coordinators, administrative assistants, business intelligence consultants, junior accountants, compliance officers & talent management analysts
Financial services & law: corporate and trust administrators, accounts officers, cash reconciliation officers, wealth managers, financial analysts, legal assistants, investment data operators, trade finance consultants & debt controllers
Hospitality: general managers, front-of-house staff, event managers, reservation specialists & travel consultants.
Retail: boutique supervisors
Logistics: transport planners


Business: administrative assistants, commercial supervisors, CEOs, directors, project managers, corporate consultants, service delivery managers, customer implementation specialists, business analysts & PAs
Marketing & media: marketing assistants, marketing managers, trade marketing managers, marketing business analysts, community managers, branding internships, TikTok live content managers, social media managers, translators, linguists, search media evaluators, transcribers & marketing coordinators
Engineering: hydraulic engineers
Hospitality: front-of-house staff, conference coordinators, events directors, receptionists & chefs
IT: presales specialists & technical support specialists


Logistics & transport: truck drivers
Construction: earthmoving equipment specialists, compaction specialists, excavation workers, crane drivers & tower crane drivers & construction site drivers
Hospitality & food services: chefs, stock controllers, event managers, event interns, menu developers, chef’s assistants, junior chefs, butchers, kitchen managers, health & safety operators
Trade workers: electricians, plumbers, joiners, plasterers, electrical cabinet builders, fitters, industrial installation technicians, home electronics assemblers, lighting specialists, network installers & cabling installers, electrical schematics planners, heating systems specialists, ventilation systems specialists, residential electro-technical fitters & sanitation fitters
Medical & healthcare: nurses, midwives & patient care workers
Automotive & industrial: maintenance workers, maintenance mechanics, industrial machine operators, industrial machine installers, vehicle technicians, maintenance inspectors, replacement parts technicians & vehicle repair mechanics, construction vehicle repair mechanics, agricultural machine repair mechanics, horticulture machine repair mechanics & goods handling machine mechanics
Business: strategy consultants, executive assistants, corporate communication specialists, office managers, customer relations managers, admin officers & project managers
Marketing & Media: communication managers, communication assistants, online marketers, marketing managers, head of content & social media managers


Education: TEFL,  teachers, learning success coordinators, learning designers, kindergarten teachers, music teachers & support teachers
Marketing & media: marketing managers, content designers, 2D artists, UI/UX designers, 3D character artists  & 3D environment artists
Business & sales: customer relationship specialists, human resource administrators, office administrators, talent acquisition specialists, business development managers, project managers, CFOs, B2B sales specialists  & sales managers
IT: development leads, game designers, web developers, IT support technicians, data engineers, python developers, software QA engineers, Java engineers, mobile game producers & solution architects
Construction: site managers
Logistics: distribution controllers, logistics supervisors, supplier quality engineer & logistics sales managers
Industrial & manufacturing: quality controllers & quality systems managers
Medical & healthcare: laboratory leads & nurses
Engineering & electronics: electrode engineers, battery-anode material engineers, battery-cathode material engineers, coating process engineers, mixing process engineers, battery technicians, mechanical parts engineers, battery cell assembly engineers & thermal power plant engineering managers
Property: leasing managers
Social & civil service: immigration associates, community outreach managers & counsellors


Business: personal assistants, human resource assistants, customer success specialists, front office managers,
Sales & Retail: sales agents, sales managers,
Entertainment & Media: models, marketing coordinators, marketing managers,
Education & childcare: TEFL teachers, study advisors, au pairs, nannies, teachers,
Hospitality & Tourism: English tour guides
Finance & financial services: credit specialists
Medical & Healthcare:
Manufacturing & Industrial: packaging developers, raw material planners,
IT: systems administrators, software engineers

Looking to broaden your horizons?

If you’re looking to head out of SA, read our next article about immigration requirements and rules.

If you need help planning your financial exit or moving your money offshore, talk to Rand Rescue about your needs. Simply leave your details below and we’ll get back to you!

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