Training in the South African public sector

SOURCE: Human resources development review 2008: education, employment and skills in South Africa
OUTPUT TYPE: Chapter in Monograph
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2008
TITLE AUTHOR(S): A.Paterson
SOURCE EDITOR(S): A.Kraak, K.Press
KEYWORDS: HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT, PUBLIC SERVICES SECTOR, TRAINING
DEPARTMENT: Inclusive Economic Development (IED)
Web link: http://www.hsrcpress.ac.za/product.php?productid=2218&cat=1&page=1
Intranet: HSRC Library: shelf number 5031
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/5648
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11910/5648

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Abstract

This chapter considers training needs and training interventions in the domain of government. Public sector skills levels are central to the government's intention to evolve as a developmental state. Skills development and training interventions implemented in more than 500 government organisations in the three spheres of government and in other government and parastatal agencies, effect about one in every five formal sector workers in South Africa. Government formations undertake a diverse array of functions and provide a wide range of services - administrative, financial, security, health and infrastructure to name a few - all of which have unique occupational structures. Multiple job requirements, work conditions and skills requirements are present in the public sector labour market, which is segmented on a service sectoral and an occupational basis. The interaction between public sector and private sector labour markets in a global context also strongly affects skills demand and supply. Available evidence discussed in the chapter suggests that expenditure on training at the national government level is health, while the government is investing energy in new initiatives such as learnerships, internships and mentorships. Analysis of the public sector training domain is limited by the quality of data available and the chapter argues that to provide for better understanding of public sector skills development and training, improved data collection and data systems remain a fundamentally important goal in South Africa.