Bottlenecks and constraints within the local labour market for engineers in the petrochemical industry sector : a case study of Engen Refinery, Wentworth.
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This research investigates the specific labour market dynamics that underline the shortage of engineers in the Petrochemical Industry in South Africa. The central argument of this dissertation is that an understanding of a skills shortage requires a distinct knowledge of the internal and external nature of each labour market in which the shortage is being experienced. This dissertation develops a critique of the neoclassical perspective which dominates current analysis of skill shortages. While it is important to understand the external labour market, it is equally important to consider the internal labour market to better identify and understand the specific dynamics that underline a skills shortage in an organisation and industry. Using Engen Refinery as a case study, this dissertation focuses on an in depth examination of the experiences of engineers working at the Refinery. The findings reveal that the dynamics that underline the skill shortage of engineers in the Petrochemical Industry in the South African context are manifold. Skill shortages are a consequence of dynamics in both the external and internal labour market; these I argue are interrelated.