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Sector skills planning
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Forecasting skills demand
Labour Market Intelligence Project
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Conferences and calls for papers
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DID YOU KNOW?
Overview of the Labour Market Intelligence Project (LMIP)
Vijay Reddy and Glenda Kruss
South Africa (SA) needs a strong foundation of labour market information including credible datasets across the post-school system and labour markets, down to sectoral, occupational and regional levels of analysis. Equally we need strong labour market intelligence: research that analyses dynamics, capabilities and constraints.
Other countries have established labour market information and intelligence systems to inform the development of policies and programmes across the education and training, skills and employment systems but a credible institutional mechanism for skills planning does not yet exist in S.A.
The objective of the Labour Market Intelligence Project is to support DHET’s mandate to establish a credible institutional mechanism for skills planning. The LMIP research consortium is led by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), whose main partners are the Development Policy Research Unit (DPRU) at the University of Cape Town and the Education Policy Unit at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits EPU). Other partners include research institutes, universities and independent consultants. The LMIP is funded by the National Skills Fund at the Department of Higher Education and Training. The research programme is scheduled to be completed by March 2015.
Research activities are organised in terms of six interlocking themes and supported by capacity building and policy activities. Each theme will produce a range of deliverables, from traditional research reports to new data sets, policy briefs and roundtables.
Theme 1: Establishing a foundation for labour market information systems in South Africa. Activities will range from the conceptual to the technical: supporting the design of an indicator system; technical support with integrating data systems; data curation; research on the application and incentivisation of management information systems; coordinating frameworks for organising and managing labour market intelligence; and a research website.
Theme 2: Skills forecasting: the supply and demand model is a project of the Wits Education Policy Unit whose main contribution is the creation of a Linked Macro-Education Model for South Africa derived from a macro-economic model which is used to predict the demand for labour in 45 sectors of the economy, and incorporates education modules. (See Siphelo Ngcwangu’s article in this issue.)
Theme 3: Studies of selected priority sectors comprise sectoral studies of skills needs and employment and growth outcomes. The core empirical research contribution will be the development of a generic SETA labour market survey. When used by all SETAs such a survey could to be the basis of a nuanced sectoral analyis of workplace skills demand and supply.
Theme 4: Reconfiguring the post-schooling sector will investigate the ways in which interaction and alignment between diverse post-school education and training systems and labour markets can be enhanced. The investigation will cover institutional capabilities and curriculum structures that facilitate or constrain interaction with labour market organisations in a range of public and private institutional settings.
Theme 5: Pathways through education and training and into the workplace will develop and undertake a longitudinal national youth panel survey to assess young peoples’ transitions from education and training to work in relation to the dynamics of the labour market and the economy. International examples will be examined to derive lessons for implementation.
Theme 6: Understanding changing artisanal occupational milieus and identities will study changes in occupational structures, knowledge and skills bases that have constrained the output of high quality artisans. This theme comprises a set of inter-linked projects in political economy, sociology of work and sociology of knowledge.
The Research-policy-practice nexus and capacity building components of the LMIP comprise workshops and policy dialogues that will facilitate debate and the uptake of evidence. Capacity building will be undertaken through the provision of postgraduate bursaries in the area of labour market analysis, and by running workshops for DHET and SETA staff members on the interpretation of labour market research and strategic intelligence.
Dr Vijay Reddy is Executive Director and Dr Glenda Kruss is a Director in the Education and Skills Development (ESD) research programme at the HSRC.
For further information contact Dr Vijay Reddy at firstname.lastname@example.org or Dr Glenda Kruss at email@example.com.