New jobs, new skills, new divisions: The changing structure of SA's workforce

Type Journal Article - South African Labour Bulletin
Title New jobs, new skills, new divisions: The changing structure of SA's workforce
Volume 15
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 1990
Page numbers 23-31
Over the last 20 years the structure of South Africa's workforce has changed greatly. Increasing unemployment for many workers, and more stable, skilled and better paid jobs for others, are creating new divisions in the working class. The authors discuss, in the first part of this article, the implications these changes have for unions, particularly in the metal industry. As a consequence of the restructuring of jobs in the metal industry African workers moved mainly from unskilled to semiskilled work. This requires an expansion of future training programmes for metalworkers. The unions will have to play their part in the developing and running of training courses. In the second part the authors look at the changing structure of the workforce in the period 1965-1985. They present an overall picture of the agricultural, mining, secondary and tertiary sector, based on the Manpower Surveys done by the Department of Manpower every two years. The picture shows that racial mixture in the workplace has happened mainly in the middle-level jobs, with few whites at the lowest levels and few blacks at the highest levels. One of the greatest changes that has taken place over the past twenty years has been the increase in the number of women in formal sector employment. Changes in the occupational and racial structure of the metal industry are, generally speaking, similar to those in the rest of the manufacturing sector. Note.

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