Listening to the interview on 702 on my way home last night got my blood boiling.

Did you listen? If not, here’s the link: http://www.702.co.za/articles/310182/highly-skilled-job-creating-taxpaying-immigrant-we-don-t-want-you-here

Why is SA so determined to close itself off?

Globalisation is a reality. True diversity considers cross- gender, race, culture and geography teams. Research proves that diversity fosters and drives innovation and innovation is the lifeblood of competitiveness in the 21st century.

I agree with the comments made during the interview that South African execs are, on the whole, too insular, with most only experienced in Africa, and that closing doors to highly skilled immigrants is going to exacerbate this at a time when SA needs to become more globally competitive.

My team and I experience the shortage of skills daily, struggling to find local talent with the skills and experience required from both multi-national and local companies. I believe that we are never going to close this skills gap unless we accept that we must allow – and in fact encourage – critically skilled individuals into our country with right to work AND the corresponding obligation to train, mentor and develop local talent. In addition, of course we have to make drastic changes to our education system to ensure a real focus on STEM subjects that are driving the future economy.

In addition to the obvious benefits of skills transfer and development, these individuals will bring much needed revenue into the country and enable businesses to grow and consequently employ more people.

Surely, it’s a no-brainer?

I’d love to hear your thoughts…