Pretoria: A ground-breaking research project to develop a Labour Market Intelligence (LMI) System that will enable government and the private sector to make better decisions in matching skills demand to supply in the country has been launched.
The Labour Market Intelligence Partnership (LMIP) research project, led by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), aims to set up systems for reliable data indicating skills needs, supply and demand in labour market in a manner that will enable the country, including government and business to plan better for human resources development needs of the country.
Speaking at the launch on Tuesday, Higher Education and Training Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande noted that for far too long, the tools that have been used to prioritise skills in this country have been based on a limited understanding and analysis of the character, structure and shifts in the economy and the labour market.
He said that the LMIP and other related projects hold the promise of refining out tools for an informed and an informative skills planning approach, tailored to the specific needs and policy context of South Africa in the 21st Century.
“This project is just one of the ways through which we hope to construct a common national policy narrative, institutional frameworks, and interfacing mechanisms for the country skills landscape, it is one of the its kind globally in terms of scope and national funds set aside in its support,” Nzimande said, noting that at an initial cost of R75 million, it is just one demonstration of the seriousness with which they take the issue of establishing a credible institutional mechanism for skills planning.
The project is complimentary to the establishment of the Higher Education and Training Management Information System (HETMIS) as well as the department’s Career Advice Information System, both also funded by the national Skills Fund.
Across the three systems, the integrated skills mechanism would house at least the information gathered from various sources and underlying datasets including Population and Labour Force, Employment and Unemployment, Wages and Salaries, Skills Demand, Skills Supply, Skills Movement Flow, the Informal Sector and its deployment/utilisation of skills and Industrial Relations.
The minister explained that the data derived from the HETMIS will be comprehensive enough to provide the data that will be required by the Labour Market Intelligence System and to be able to provide source data for the calculation of meaningful supply and demand indicators for the country.
The research on the LMIP has been organised in terms of the six themes:
* Theme one: Labour market analysis, framework, data and information systems
* Theme two: Skills forecasting: the supply and demand model
* Theme three: Selected sectoral analyses
* Theme four: Reconfiguring the Post-School Sector
* Theme five; Pathways through education and training and into the labour market, and
* Theme six: Understanding changing artisanal and occupational identities and milieus.
HSRC CEO, Dr Olive Shisana, expressed her appreciation for the confidence in the HSRC to lead the consortium to undertake the research, noting that this will contribute to the development of skilled and capable work force for an inclusive growth plan.
“This is a unique partnership between government and research community and this research partnership represent the largest investment for the research relating to skills development globally,” Dr Shisana said, adding that they are well placed to lead the research.
Dr Shisana said there is an urgency to develop a skilled and capable workforce in order to grow the economy and this research partnership is very important.
“The output of the work of the consortium will be remarkable, it will be high quality size leading to information knowledge and appropriate labour market intelligence, the translation of information knowledge to relevant and appropriate training labour market and employment policies and programmes, to grow the community of researchers in the area of skills development and labour market analysis,” Dr Shisana said.