An assessment of skills development interventions in South Africa: skills development for the unemployed: the national skills fund and training of the unemployed
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International studies on the impact of training for the unemployed have reported mixed results; some found that training has increased employment possibilities, while others have found that public job-training programmes did not help people finding jobs. Closer to home, ReNETTE DU TOIT analysed the success of placements following training opportunities afforded by the National Skills Fund (NSF) the government's mechanism for addressing skills development for the unemployed in South Africa which up to now was largely undetermined.
The general approach was to conduct a statistical overview of the information on training opportunities contained in the National Skills Fund Disbursement Information System (NSFDIS), complemented by five provincial case studies (Eastern Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and the Western Cape). The case studies focused on best practice projects to deepen the perspective on the dynamics of training.
A number of pertinent issues had an impact on the design and analysis of this study. First, the impact of the transfer of the NSF from the Department of Labour (DoL) to the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) in November 2009 caused substantial rearrangements in terms of communication, administration and management of current and future training initiatives.
Second, data on the placement of beneficiaries was absent from the NSFDIS. And third, there were limitations in terms of project content and data content in the records maintained at provincial level.