LMI programme > Publications

National database sets and research on labour market demand

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Corporate author/s:

Labour Market Intelligence Partnership (LMIP)

Person/s author/s:

Roodt, Joan


working paper



This study shows that none of the previous work on skills needs in South Africa can claim to have predicted detailed skills needs in different sectors with great quantitative precision, although it contributed to and informed skills planning in the country. The various methodologies that were used included: published research that made use of, inter alia, base year employment to project future occupational employment; economic growth predications by financial institutions, such as the banking sector; elasticities for labour market sectors calculated in one study and used in follow-up studies; analysis of documentary evidence; data obtained from private data houses, such as Global Insight, Who Owns Whom, and Quantec; various official datasets; SETA data; interviews and case studies; and surveys. A combination of methodologies is required in a country with an uneven economic and labour market landscape. Research found that in general there were a lack of quality data; skills shortages at the strategic management level; a national gap in foundational education skills; a small pool of matriculants with the necessary grades and mathematical and natural science subjects; a lack of opportunities to get the necessary work experience; racial inequality; and lack in gender parity. More specific, studies of professions found that immigration needs to be less cumbersome; and professionals from abroad need to be recruited back to South Africa and a study on medical doctors found that desirable conditions in the country would be the 'pull' of international job offers. Retired professionals also need to be recruited back to help with mentoring of less experienced entrants in the workplace.

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