The LMIP seminar series has continued to provide a space for discussion and engagement with the findings of LMIP or related research. On 28 August, Dr Lesley Powell and Dr Simon McGrath from Nottingham University (UK) presented a paper titled: Exploring the Value of the Capability Approach for Vocational Education and Training Evaluation: Reflections from South Africa. The paper proposed a method of evaluation that draws on the capability approach and in which the needs of people, rather than the economy, are given primacy. In this way, issues of social justice, human rights and poverty alleviation are given greater prominence in VET evaluation. Click here to view the Powerpoint presentation: http://lmip.org.za/document/new-approach-evaluation-vocational-education-and-training

In their presentation on 30 October 2014 titled Curriculum Responsiveness and Student Employability in VET: Preliminary Findings from Three Case Studies Professor Volker Wedekind and Dr Sybert Mutereko of the University of Kwazulu-Natal drew on three case studies: engineering programmes at Universities of Technology; programmes offered in the sugar industry to address skills needs; and firms’ partnerships with public providers in the automotive sector. Each case study explored the processes through which curricula respond to a variety of drivers, including employer needs, professional and occupational imperatives, disciplinary environments and policy imperatives. Click here for the Powerpoint presentation: http://lmip.org.za/document/curriculum-responsiveness-and-student-employability-vet-preliminary-findings-three-case

Professor Volker Wedekind, Univeristy of Kwazulu-Natal and LMIP, Theme 4

Dr Asha Sundaram and Dr Amos Peters from UCT presented a paper on 30 October 2014 titled Skills Mismatch and Informal Sector Participation among Educated Immigrants: Evidence from South Africa. Using South African census data, they argued that there is an under-utilisation of immigrant skills, which has particular implications for emerging economies grappling with skills shortages. Their results showed that immigrants with tertiary education from different origin country groups differ in their likelihood of obtaining a skilled job. Immigrants from advanced country groups outperform native internal migrants, while those from many African country groups underperform them. In addition, they demonstrated that immigrants with advanced degrees from certain country groups are also more likely to be employed in unskilled, informal sector jobs. Click here for the Powerpoint presentation: http://lmip.org.za/document/skills-mismatch-and-informal-sector-participation-among-educated-immigrants-evidence-south

On 6 November 2014, Dr Tendai Gwatidzo and Dr Miracle Benhura of the University of the Witwatersrand delivered a paper titled Mining Sector Wages in South Africa. The seminar problematised recent unrest in the South African mining sector by examining wage disparities in a comparative context. They argued that a decline in the sector’s contribution to the South African economy, a decrease in output, export earnings and employment, plus the major disparities in the sectors’ income distribution are all factors that contribute to instability in the sector. Their work also uncovered an education-related black-white wage differential in the sector. Click here for the Powerpoint presentation: http://lmip.org.za/sites/default/files/documentfiles/Mining sector wage slides_2014_0.pdf, and here for the full LMIP Working Paper: http://lmip.org.za/sites/default/files/documentfiles/WP 1 2013 Mining Sector Wages WEB_0.pdf.