Understanding barriers to accessing skills development and employment for youth in Argentina and South Africa in a comparative and international perspective (Siphelo Ngcwango and Peliwe Lolwana)

Wits REAL Centre has partnered with the PREJET Centre at the University of Buenos Aires for the project which is conducted in both Argentina and South Africa as a form of ‘South-South cooperation’.  
The research project is focused on Policies, People, and Institutions:

  • Policies addressing skills development and work access in the public governance system;
  • Young people with respect to what they bring to the table, in terms of educational achievements, family and household characteristics; spatiality of residence; employment histories, values and expectations,  and
  • Institutions and programmes that support the policies above and their own strategies to manage the implementation of the policies and programmes.

The study broadly aims to gain insight into barriers to accessing skills development and employment for youth in Argentina and South Africa and the policies addressing them, in the context of regional and international trends. The methodology involves:

  • Identifying and classifying policies addressing skills development and work at the national public governance system;
  • Describing and analysing youth employment at a national level and in specific sectors of the economy, from a quantitative perspective, focusing on factors that facilitate or block the access of youngsters to decent work; and
  • Analysing strategies of implementation and performance developed by institutions and programmes that support the policies above, in specific sectors of the economy.

The first phase of the project was a conceptual seminar hosted by PREJET in May 2014, the second phase involved a seminar focused on discussion of findings and was hosted by Wits REAL Centre during 17 -21 November 2014.
The fieldwork aspect has been completed in both countries the teams are now finalising analysis and the write up of reports.

Siphelo Ngcwangu is a research associate at Wits University Centre for Researching Education and Labour (REAL). He is the project manager for the LMIP theme 2 project and researcher on barrier to employment and skills development for youth in South Africa.

Peliwe Lolwana is an Associate Professor, Director: Researching Education and Labour (REAL) Centre University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Peliwe is also a researcher on the barriers to employment and skills development for youth in South Africa and manages the collaboration with PREJET in Argentine and NORRAG in Switzerland for this project.


For further information contact Siphelo Ngcwangu at Siphelo.Ngcwangu@wits.ac.za and Peliwe Lolwana at Peliwe.Lolwana@wits.ac.za