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Made to measure? Some international reflections on developing VET Indicators

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Labour Market Intelligence Partnership (LMIP)

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McGrath, Simon


working paper



The DHET Labour Market Intelligence project is one of the largest scale attempts globally in recent years to develop systems and capacity to measure the performance of post-compulsory education and training systems. As such, it offers the prospect of both contributing significantly to meeting South Africa's own developmental challenges in this regard and to our international knowledge base. In developing the project, it is worth reflecting a little on the international dimension. The principal concern of this paper is that indicators and 'intelligence' systems must be shaped by bigger questions of philosophy, purpose and design, rather than simply by what can be measured or what data has conventionally been collected. The latter are not unimportant, of course, and it is vital that practical decisions are made during the project. However, there is a pressing imperative that South Africa decides what it is that it is trying to achieve from its post school system before it decides on processes of data gathering, analysis and reporting.

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