The LMIP Briefing is an evidence-based contribution to informing the development of a skills planning mechanism for South Africa. It showcases our cutting edge research and aims to highlight key trends and potential implications from the research projects.

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.

The proposed functions of the Skills Planning Unit are to (1)Develop a scarce skills list; (2) Support the skills planning processes, (3) Monitor the implementation progress of the different skill strategies; (4) Track trends in the labour market; (5) Understand the supply of skills; (6) Provide indicative forecasts of future skill requirements; (7) Identify the skill implications of the government’s industrial and trade strategies; (8) Track recruitment vacancies; (9) Track regional dimensions to skills in demand; (10) Support ad-hoc requests from government; (11) Develop a strategic research plan; (12) Support career guidance.

The location for the SPU is a complex and political issue to tackle. However, whatever decision is taken two issues will need to be carefully considered. The first is whether the organisation responsible for the SPU has the political power to ensure that decisions taken or recommendations made by the unit are capable of being effectively implemented throughout government. The second is the ability of the proposed host department to support effective data collection, collation and analysis.

We recommend that the Skills Planning Unit, for the short term, be located in the DHET.