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Developing a national skills forecasting tool for South Africa

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Human Resource Development Council (HRDC)

Person/s author/s:

Lee, Deborah; Wilson, Rob; Woolard, Ingrid


research report



In 2003, the South African Department of Labour, supported by the European Union, commissioned research to investigate the feasibility of developing quantitative forecasting models to help identify future skills needs in South Africa. The aims of the project were manifold. They included and in-depth review of forecasting models used in other countries, as well as an assessment of the suitability of existing South African forecasting models for identifying future skills/needs requirements. They also included an appraisal of the validity and reliability of data for use in developing a forecasting skills model in South Africa. The review suggests there is a forecasting modelling capacity in South Africa upon which a robust, national, multi-sectoral forecasting system for occupational employment forecasting can be developed. Moreover, there are some useful data to build such models, although these are not without their limitations. The review suggests that there are very real concerns about some of the quality of the data. However, it is argued that such concerns help to make a case for improvement in the latter rather than pre-empting the development of a new national level employment-forecasting tool.

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