The Labour Market Intelligence Partnership is a collaboration between the South African government and a national research consortium. We aim to build a credible institutional mechanism for skills planning in South Africa.
In support of this objective, the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) has contracted the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) to lead a research consortium with two university partners, the Development Policy Research Unit at the University of Cape Town, and the Centre for Researching Education and Labour at the University of Witwatersrand.
Above: LMIP researchers with higher education and training minister HE Dr Blade Nzimande. [Credit: LMIP]
Reliable data for better planning
“LMIP aims to set up systems for reliable data indicating skills needs, supply and demand in our labour market in a manner that will enable our country, including government and business to plan better for human resources development needs for our country.” – Minister Blade Nzimande, Department of Higher Education and Training of South Africa
Components of the LMIP
At its core the LMIP is an applied research project, focussing on six key areas. But we're also about capacity building, learning, research communication, and informing policy processes.
In brief, we want to:
Advance information and knowledge of the post-school education and training system in relation to economic development and growth
Build labour market intelligence to inform strategic planning and interventions
Develop future research capacity in the areas of education and training, skills development and labour market analysis
Enhance the institutional capacity of DHET and its stakeholders to gather and interpret labour market information
Create a community of practice through dissemination activities with policy-makers and researchers
The bigger picture
Globally, labour market information and intelligence systems are established to provide analysis and insights that support the development of policies and intervention programmes across the education and training, skills and employment systems.
Experience in many countries highlights that central to labour market intelligence is the quality of the processes of consultation and communication between researchers, policymakers, and labour market stakeholders.
What South Africa needs
The national capacity for labour market intelligence is small and fragmented and there are not enough credible datasets across the post-school system and labour markets, down to sector, occupational and regional levels of analysis. While accurate, complete and compatible information systems are absolutely necessary, but this is not sufficient.
This means we need:
- To build a culture of collaboration and partnership to coordinate our efforts.
- A strong foundation of labour market information.
- An equally strong labour market intelligence research that analyses the dynamics, capabilities and constraints.
What a labour market intelligence system can do
The current global state of uncertainty over finance, trade and employment makes a labour market intelligence system even more essential in the South African context.
But what outcomes will it achieve?
- It will empower students and work-seekers to make the correct education and skills decisions, making them more attractive to employers.
- Government and companies will be able to make better strategic decisions in matching skills demand and supply, leading to increased productivity and profits.
- Adult education and training institutions, workplace training providers, the FET college system, artisan, technical training and the higher education sector will be able to respond to shifting labour market demand signals much more effectively.
The LMIP is a unique undertaking that has been designed to inform and support evidence-based skills development policy in South Africa.