Pathways through education and training and into the workplace

The Labour Market Intelligence Partnership's research agenda is organised in six priority areas. Each research area has a leading subject specialist or team at its helm and a unique research objective, design and methodology.

Scroll to review all LMIP research reports about Pathways through education and training and into the workplace

Learn more about research leader Dr Michael Rogan of Rhodes University

Context and research objectives

Our research objective in this area of the LMIP is to obtain a better understanding of the pathways and transitions undertaken by young people through the education and training system into the workplace. 

The key question underpinning this work is: What are the dynamics of access, progression, graduation and labour market destinations along various education, training and labour market trajectories and how can this knowledge inform skills planning in South Africa?

Our research collects and analyses data that provides crucial information on the following issues:

- Understanding the extent to which access is conditioned by socio-economic factors, the quality of primary and secondary schooling, as well as spatial and demographic characteristics. In particular, it is important to know which barriers affect young people who successfully finish their schooling.

- Pathways or trajectories through the secondary school and post-school sector refer to the choices that students make in terms of institutions, subjects, degrees and specialisations.

- Transitions from and through education and training into the labour market are the final step in the progression sequence. Given the large investments (at both the household and government levels) made in training and higher education, the successful matching of available skills to the demands of the labour market is of significant interest in South Africa. 

The post-school education and training landscape in South Africa consists of a diverse range of sectors and institutions.

These include: Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET) centres; Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges; workplace training programmes (learnerships and apprenticeships); as well as traditional, comprehensive and universities of technology.

All of these components of the post-schooling system are of vital importance to the supply of skills to the labour market and the broader South African economy and understanding the issues of access, pathways and transitions will provide valuable information for skills planning.

Design and methodology

A number of research studies are conducted within this area of the LMIP research agenda. The key questions and issues that each of the studies attempted to respond to reflected in the following topics:

1. What is the progression, graduation and destination of secondary school students.

2. How matric results influence university access, field of study and progression through to university.

3. What are the school-to-work transitions in the National Income Dynamic Study.

4. What  are the university graduate destination outcomes:  The Eastern Cape study on transitions to the labour market

5. Assessing the usability of graduate destination surveys for the analysis of labour market outcomes.

6. Scoping for a tracer study of the education and training and labour market outcomes of workplace training programmes.

7. What are the pathways of TVET college learners through the TVET colleges and beyond.

8. Who accesses adult education programmes and where do they progress to: an exploratory tracer study on community education and training centres.

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