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MerSETA: Metal Chamber research project

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Steel and Engineering Federation of South Africa (SEIFSA); Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Education and Training Authority (MerSETA)


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The purpose of the current project was to develop an understanding of the skills needs in the Metal and Engineering sector, the factors impacting on future training needs, key drivers of changes with reference to growth in the sector and national priorities (i.e., strategic integrated projects and other relevant large scale development projects which would reinvigorate the metal and manufacturing sector. The research focuses on determining the actual need of the industry in terms of vacancies or missing skills and not be based on a Workplace Skills Plans (WSPs) which does not accurately capture this need. First, the research needed to quantify the number of vacancies or jobs not filled across the metal and engineering sector, then extrapolating this against the aging workforce to determine the real demand need over a period of time and also to determine training time required to develop learners to address the aging workforce. Once this information was obtained, the next step was to then determine the number of people currently practising in specific disciplines. Thirdly, the delta (difference) needed to be ascertained between the number of practising skilled people and the demand of skills needed, assuming this will lead to the real required training or developmental need and according to volumes per discipline grouped, will automatically provide an ideal Sector Skills Plan (SSP) based on a real demand of skills needed and not conjecture. Lastly, a forecasting dimension is needed in the industry: what does the future hold for the Metal industry in South Africa. This is an area that could be considered for research going forward.

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