The South African labour force is made up of 15 million employed and 7.5 million unemployed persons. Three quarters of the employed and 90% of the unemployed are from the African population group. Two thirds of the population is less than 34 years of age and one third are between the age of 15 and 34 years. Unemployment is particularly high amongst youth (15 to 34 years) and this is increasing as more young people join the labour force.
Each LMIP Briefing is an evidence-based contribution to informing the development of a skills planning mechanism for South Africa. Briefings showcase our cutting edge research and aim to highlight key trends and potential implications from LMIP research projects.
LMIP Briefing 24
LMIP Briefing 23
The post-1994 labour market environment in South Africa is marked by a sharp rise in the use of temporary employment services (TES). The TES sector has grown rapidly and is now a key feature of the South African economy and its labour market, yet surprisingly little academic research has been undertaken on the sector. We attempt to go some way towards closing the gap, by focusing this report on trying to understand the nature of employment changes and their impact, in the ‘labour broker’ sector.
LMIP Briefing 22
In an effort to stimulate economic development and reduce unemployment by creating jobs, government has initiated a number of sectoral and regional growth strategies. Government is to be applauded on its interventionist approach to job creation. However, the question remains whether these strategies have sufficiently considered and planned for, the skills needed for successful implementation.
LMIP Briefing 21
Understanding educational transitions is vital to address basic skills shortages and improve the life chances of all South African learners. In order to examine the varied educational pathways and transitions taken by youth, the first wave of the South African Youth Panel Study (SAYPS) was administered in 2011. SAYPS, a longitudinal, panel study, followed Grade 9 learners who participated in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), over the next four consecutive years.
LMIP Briefing 20
The concept ‘Employability’ remains a contested term and is differently understood and utilised by various stakeholders. We begin by distinguishing key definitions, as these have implications for curriculum policy and deciding roles and responsibilities.
LMIP Briefing 19
What knowledge and skill does a 21st century artisan need? LMIP researchers considered this question in relation to four interlocking contexts: sector and company futures, workplace culture futures, work futures for artisans/technicians, and artisanal qualification futures. In-depth case studies were conducted across four industry sectors. Here, we focus on the analysis of artisanal qualification futures only.
LMIP Briefing 18
Skills planning and development is strongly influenced by the dynamics of sectoral and regional networks of public and private actors such as industry associations, research institutes, SETAs, local government departments, firms/farmers, and public and private universities and colleges.
LMIP Briefing 17
In South Africa’s highly unequal education and training system, pockets of excellence exist where resources, networks and skills are concentrated. The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) represents a successful attempt at linking these pockets of excellence at the national level, and to global knowledge flows.
LMIP Briefing 16
The overarching purpose of the SETA Labour Market Survey is to provide a new tool that is missing from the current skills planning mechanism in South Africa. It does so through contributing a new methodology and dataset that provides key labour market information. A pilot survey was conducted within the Manufacturing and Engineering SETA (merSETA) during the last quarter of 2014.
LMIP Briefing 15
A unique feature of the approach to developing the skills planning mechanism adopted in the Labour Market Intelligence Partnership (LMIP) is the emphasis on the close working relations between the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and the HSRC-led research consortium, based on consultation and engagement. Interactions and engagements were facilitated through structures (such as a project steering committee and technical theme committees) and mechanisms (such as theme-level business plans) that aimed to establish an active and productive research-policy nexus to support evidence use in policy formulation.
LMIP Briefing 14
The LMIP has undertaken research on the role of higher education institutions in predicting labour market outcomes. The study offers empirical estimates of the association between the type of higher education institution attended (college or university) and the probability of employment and level of earnings among graduates in the South African labour market. It finds that an increase in years of schooling increases employment probability, and that there is a significant premium for individuals with higher education.
LMIP Briefing 13
To plan for artisanal skills in the future, it is critical to understand three contextual factors: first, historical patterns of artisanal skills supply and demand; second, changes to the nature of work and occupations; and third, the relation between knowledge bases and preparation for work. This note reports key trends in relation to the third contextual factor.
LMIP Briefing 12
This study begins from the premise that understanding the trajectories of distinct groups of young people, by class or race or region or gender or age, is critical to inform a skills system that contributes to inclusive development. We know very little of the pathways of students through different educational institutions. We do not have reliable databases that tell us whether young people get jobs, whether these jobs are in areas related to their studies, who is more likely to find employment and who struggles to access the labour market. Aggregating individual trajectories can tell us more about the pathways of individuals through a learning institution, the effectiveness of specific types of institution, and about the alignment, blockages and flows from school through the post-school sector and into the labour market.
LMIP Briefing 11
Mechatronics is an emerging field of practice, which in addition to being a professional qualification, has recently been recognised as an artisanal trade. This opens up opportunities for participation in a multi-disciplinary field at the vocational level, which in turn, tests the traditional boundaries between occupational groups. Findings from a recently completed empirical case study provide data and information on occupational boundaries in a specific field (mechatronics) and sector (automotive).
LMIP Briefing 10
The role of attitudes in shaping individual behaviours and hence, labour market outcomes, has been neglected in discourses of education and skills development. For the first time in South Africa, the LMIP collected data on attitudes to employment and unemployment, using the South African Social Attitudes Survey 2013. Public attitudes to the labour market are shaped by perceived opportunities and constraints, which in turn, frame expectations and aspirations of labour market participation.
LMIP Briefing 9
Understanding educational transitions is vital to addressing basic skills shortages and improving the life chances of all South African learners. In order to examine the varied pathways and transitions taken by South African youth, the first wave of the South African Youth Panel Study (SAYPS) was administered in 2011. SAYPS, a longitudinal, panel study, followed Grade 9 learners who participated in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) over four consecutive years, to explore the educational transitions of young people.
LMIP Briefing 8
This Roadmap for the Implementation of a Skills Planning Unit outlines the functions, location, structures, partners and implementation plans to realise the establishment of the Skills Planning Unit. In our reports, we understand the term Labour Market Intelligence System (LMIS) as the technical processes associated with the collection, collation, analysis and dissemination of information and skills planning focuses on how labour market intelligence is utilized to inform decision making processes about how resources are allocated for skills development and how different actors influence this process. Together, the LMIS and skill planning decision making process constitute the credible skills planning mechanism.
LMIP Briefing 7
Research on institutional responsiveness and student employability in the vocational education and training curriculum has now been completed. Seven case studies were conducted across different types of PSET institutions, in the agribusiness (sugar and forestry) and automotive production and maintenance sectors. The research investigated five broad drivers that shape the kinds of curriculum responses that can enable or hinder employability.
LMIP Briefing 6
ndicators are an indispensable component in the skills planner’s toolkit. They are designed to succinctly anticipate, reveal, or diagnose changing conditions in the labour market. International comparative analysis reveals that there is a growing preoccupation with skills planning indicators, given the salience of skills to economic growth and global competition. Indicator selection is usually informed by current policy priorities.
LMIP Briefing 5
A central challenge for the implementation of a skills planning mechanism lies within the capabilities of key actors at different levels of the system. Firms and skills planners need to have an enhanced understanding of the capabilities of PSET organisations, to inform and influence their core education and training activities. And in turn, universities, TVET colleges, and other public and private providers need an enhanced understanding of how they can respond to the changing technological capabilities and skills needs of firms, in relation particularly to professional, occupational and skills-oriented programmes, and to their role in producing the ‘right’ graduates for the workplace and the national economy.
LMIP Briefing 4
The Labour Market Intelligence Partnership (LMIP) proposed a credible skills planning mechanism consisting of two dimensions: (i) a labour market intelligence system (LMIS) concerned with the collection, collation, analysis and dissemination of information and (ii) a decision making process, based on labour market intelligence to determine where and how resources are allocated for skills development. In order to achieve this, we propose a National Skills Planning and Intelligence Unit (NaSPIU).
LMIP Briefing 3
The subject of scarce skills is hotly discussed in the policy arena and the media. A scarce skill is simply defined as a situation in which the demand for a specific occupation outstrips the supply of this occupation at a specified price (or wage). A scarce skills list is important to inform how lists for visas are constructed and the priorities for post-school education and training programmes. The LMIP has completed a study, Powell M, Paterson A and Reddy V (2014). Approaches and methods of understanding what occupations are in high demand and recommendations for moving forward in South Africa. The report attempts to unpack the complexities surrounding the methods and approaches that can be used to identify occupations in high demand, and develops a set of recommendations for moving forward.
LMIP Briefing 2
The LMIP undertook a database audit in twenty government entities including national government departments, provincial government premier’s offices, and local government authorities. The aim was to investigate the relevance of identified databases to skills planning particularly on the demand side as well as to assess options for integration with other databases.
LMIP Briefing 1
South Africa does not have an institutional structure to track changes in the labour market and thus lacks a credible mechanism for skills development. From an analytical study which reviewed (i) past planning practices in South Africa; (ii) how other countries approach skills planning and the production of labour market intelligence and (iii) the White Paper for Post School Education and Training the LMIP proposed a model to guide the development of a new framework for skills planning and labour market intelligence in South Africa.