HRD and the skills crisis

SOURCE: Human resources development review 2003: education, employment and skills in South Africa
OUTPUT TYPE: Chapter in Monograph
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2003
TITLE AUTHOR(S): A.Kraak
KEYWORDS: HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT, SKILLS DEVELOPMENT, SKILLS PROFILE
DEPARTMENT: Education and Skills Development (ESD)
Web link: http://www.hsrcpublishers.ac.za/full_title_info.asp?id=1981
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 2524

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Abstract

This chapter represents the case for a multi-pronged approach to the so-called "skills crisis" in South Africa. Since South Africa is a developing country, with a large proportion of its people unemployed and possessing very low levels of skill, the privileging of high skills is inappropriate as the sole focus of human resources development. Intermediate skilling is a critical and complementary input upon which current economic growth is heavily reliant. The chapter thus argues for a joint strategy to promote both high- and intermediate-level skilling. Furthermore, a low-skill, labour-intensive employment strategy is perhaps the most important political demand facing government. What is required is an integrated and multi-pronged human resources development strategy that simultaneously supports the expansion of high-skills capacity and high-level knowledge production, re-invigorates the supply of intermediate skills to the national economy, and provides support to low-skills job creation initiatives.