The Labour Market Intelligence Partnership is a collaboration between government and a national research consortium that aims to build a credible institutional mechanism for skills development in South Africa.
The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) contracted the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) to lead the research consortium in support of the goal of developing a mechanism for skills planning.
Experience in many countries highlights that central to labour market intelligence is the quality of the processes of consultation and communication between researchers, policy makers, stakeholders and partners. The national capacity for labour market intelligence is small and fragmented. Our task is to build a culture of collaborative partnership to co-ordinate efforts. The core research consortium consists of the HSRC, the Development Policy Research Unit at University of Cape Town, and the Education Policy Unit at University of Witwatersrand. Other partners include research institutes, universities and independent consultants.
Globally labour market information and intelligence systems are established to provide analytical insights which support the development of policies and intervention programmes across the education and training, skills and employment systems.
We need a strong foundation of labour market information – credible datasets across the post-school system and labour markets, down to sector, occupational and regional levels of analysis. Accurate, complete and compatible information systems are absolutely necessary, but this is not sufficient. We need equally strong labour market intelligence research that analyses dynamics, capabilities and constraints. The current global state of uncertainty over finance, trade and employment makes a labour market intelligence system even more essential.
A labour market intelligence system will empower students and work-seekers to make the correct education and skills decisions, making them more attractive to employers.
Government and companies will be able to make better strategic decisions in matching skills demand and supply. This will lead to increased productivity and profits.
Education and training institutions – adult education and training, workplace training, the FET college system, artisan and technical training and higher education – will be able to respond to shifting labour market demand signals more effectively.