Skills development for enterprise development: a major challenge for "joined-up" policy

SOURCE: Shifting understandings of skills in South Africa: overcoming the historical imprint of a low skills regime
OUTPUT TYPE: Chapter in Monograph
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2004
TITLE AUTHOR(S): S.McGrath
SOURCE EDITOR(S): S.McGrath, A.Badroodien, A.Kraak, L.Unwin
KEYWORDS: ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT, HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT, SKILLS DEVELOPMENT
DEPARTMENT: Education and Skills Development (ESD)
Web link: http://www.hsrcpublishers.ac.za/full_title_info.asp?id=2040
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 2545

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Abstract

Skills development policies necessarily must have a strong concern with both the nature of the current and possible future labour markets that they are seeking to articulate with and support. In South Africa, as elsewhere in Africa, it is evident that a large proportion of existing and future employment will take place on smaller, less formal enterprises. Moreover, such enterprises are the likely destination of many of the poorest as well as of innovative entrepreneurs. Given the limited absorption capacity of the South African formal economy, skills upgrading in the informal economy needs to be an integral part of an overall skills strategy. For this reason, the articulation between skills development and enterprise development strategies in an important test for South Africa's ambitions to transform its skills development pathway. The main focus of the chapter is on policy. The author addresses this through an exploration of policy documents from the three key departments: trade and Industry (DTI), Labour (DoL) and Education (DoE). The examination of sect oral policies will be followed by a brief consideration of where their combination leaves the policy debate on skills development for enterprise development, and how that talks to the broader vision for a higher skill South Africa. Finally he addresses the issue of the challenges that remain for practice.