In December 2015 Professor Mike Campbell and I submitted a Final Report to the South African Department of Higher Education and Training on the establishment of a national skills planning mechanism. The culmination of eighteen months’ work, the report, Planning with Purpose: The Use of Labour Market Intelligence for Skills Planning in South Africa was funded via the EU-South Africa Dialogue Facility, under the auspices of the European Delegation in Pretoria. The Contractor was Brussels-based IBF International Consulting; the Senior Research Adviser was Professor Campbell and I was appointed as Research Manager.
The findings and recommendations in our report were based upon an extensive process of research, stakeholder engagement and high-level policy dialogue between senior representatives of the Department of Higher Education and Training and experts and counterparts in EU countries and institutions, and in Australia.
The key elements of the project were as follows:
- A commissioned international comparative analysis of international and South African approaches to the collection and use of labour market information and labour market intelligence for skills planning
- Two national stakeholder workshops, held in Pretoria, South Africa, in March and November, 2015; reports were produced on each of the workshops
- Two study tour missions, in July and October, by senior officials of the Department of Higher Education and Training, to organizations and institutions in the European Union and Australia. Led by the Director General, Mr Gwebinkundla Qonde, the South African delegation met, in the UK, with the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, the National Institute for Adult and Continuing Education, and the Migration Advisory Committee. In Ireland the delegation met with the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs and SOLAS; the Directorates for Education and Employment and VET were visited in Brussels, and a meeting was held with the OECD in Paris. The delegation also visited the European Training Foundation in Turin. In Australia the delegation held meetings and consultations with, inter alia, experts on Vocational Education and Training, industry sector councils, the Departments of Education and Training and Employment in Canberra and the National Centre for Vocational Education Research in Adelaide. Reports were produced on each of the two study tour missions.
The final report, Planning with Purpose: The Use of Labour Market Intelligence for Skills Planning in South Africa, by Glen Fisher and Mike Campbell, outlines a comprehensive set of twenty recommendations along with a suggested strategy and time-frame for implementation.