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The newly launched PPS Graduate Professional Index has revealed that 89% of South Africa’s graduate professionals believe that the brain drain is still a concern. The study, which was conducted by PPS - the financial service provider focused on graduate professionals, received over 3000 responses from its graduate professional members.
Macy Seperepere, Manager: Professional Associations at PPS, says that the emigration of highly qualified professionals has always been a concern for the country. “There are many professions that suffer from a shortage of skilled professionals, including doctors, lawyers, dentists and engineers, among others.”
It is interesting how beliefs about unemployment and emigration intertwine, she says. “When asked how unemployment affects their profession, 32% of the respondents said they believe that unemployment causes skilled professionals to move overseas due to their inability to find appropriate jobs. According to 24% of the respondents, unemployment also leads to professionals being over-worked due to staff shortages, while 13% said that people with valuable experience and skills are being retrenched.”
However, the survey revealed that only 47% of the respondents have considered emigration in the past year. Of those respondents who have considered emigration, 43% said politics was the main reason behind their consideration to emigrate, this was followed by crime (18%), lack of employment opportunities (17%) and the devaluation of the rand (14%).
“It is positive to note that of the 54% of graduate professionals who have not considered emigration over the past year, 44% say they are still happy living in South Africa. The second most popular reason why they would not consider emigration is that all their family members live here (27%), which was followed by the reason that the cost of emigration (15%) is too expensive.”
As a point of interest, if these graduate professionals are to emigrate, the majority would relocate to Australia (29%), North America (21%) and Europe (20%).