LMI programme > Publications

Towards understanding the distinctive nature of artisan training: Implications for skills planning in South Africa

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Publication year:


Corporate author/s:

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC); Labour Market Intelligence Partnership (LMIP)

Person/s author/s:

Mncwango, Bongiwe; Mbatha, C; Ngazimbi, Xolani; Wildschut, Angelique; Twalo, Thembinkosi


research report



The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) initiated the Labour Market Intelligence Partnership (LMIP) with the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), leading a consortium to conduct research to support the development of an institutional mechanism for skills planning in South Africa. The issue of artisans was identified as a key focus area. A set of three research projects focuses on understanding changing artisan occupational milieus and identities in relation to the following five high-level research aims: 1. To establish the elements that constitute artisan occupational milieus within the South African context; 2. To establish the elements that constitute artisan occupational identities within the South African context; 3. To assess how such artisan occupational milieus and identities have changed over time; 4. To assess what the implications of these changes have been; and 5. To assess how an understanding of the implications can assist in ensuring better outcomes for artisan skills production and retention. This report offers a high-level overview of the shifts in, and shape of, artisan skilling and employment over the last few decades. Its aim is simple - to move beyond an extensive and established literature to an argument that dealing with artisan skills production and the associated historical challenges for employment creation requires an institutional understanding of artisan history and of the prevailing economic parameters in key periods that provide both constraints and opportunities for policy-making

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