LMI programme > Publications

Estimating the current and future skills demand of government's national growth and development policies

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Corporate author/s:

Labour Market Intelligence Partnership (LMIP), Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET)

Person/s author/s:

Kalina, Marc; Rogan, Michael


research report



The purpose of this report is to assess government's economic-development policies as drivers of demand for skills. The main objective is to generate a broad estimate of the skills demand implications of implementing key development strategies, including programmes that are specifically designed as job-creating projects. Secondary objectives include the following: Providing an indication of current and future skills needs emanating from the strategies discussed below; Estimating demand according to the three broad skills categories: high-skill, medium-skill and low-skill occupations; Where strategy documents estimate the expected size of skills demand that will be created, analysing the implications of the strategy for skills development; Where strategy documents estimate the expected size of skills demand that will be created, examining the methodology used to generate these estimations; and suggesting a methodology for calculating skills demand that might be applied to new government programmes or policies as they are created. To address these objectives, the report examines 26 major development strategy documents from both the national and provincial governments, as well as from the major metropolitan municipalities. From this analysis, it is difficult to provide an indication of current and future skills needs for the state, because few of the strategies provide assessments to match their needs. Where plans do provide some indication of their skills requirements, gaps largely exist in low-skill occupations, like those required in the productive industries, or in high-skill applications, like those required by the science, engineering and technology (SET) industries or within the knowledge-based economy. However, most plans included in the study are so vague regarding their skills requirements that it is difficult to disaggregate their needs into even so broad a skills classification as high, medium and low.

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