High-skill requirements in advanced manufacturing

SOURCE: Human resources development review 2008: education, employment and skills in South Africa
OUTPUT TYPE: Chapter in Monograph
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2008
TITLE AUTHOR(S): J.Lorentzen, A.Wildschut
SOURCE EDITOR(S): A.Kraak, K.Press
KEYWORDS: HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT, MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY, SKILLS DEVELOPMENT, SKILLS SHORTAGE
DEPARTMENT: Education and Skills Development (ESD)
Web link: http://www.hsrcpress.ac.za/product.php?productid=2218&cat=1&page=1
Intranet: HSRC Library: shelf number 5032

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Abstract

This chapter begins with a consideration of the changing profile of advanced manufacturing in South Africa, by means of a description of the composition of output and exports in those manufacturing sub-sectors that generate demand for high skills. To provide context, the discussion relates changes in outputs and exports by sub-sector to relevant developments in a global economy. It also outlines the manner in which South African advanced manufacturing has shifted from an inward to an outward orientation, in the context of a global economy that itself has been subject to shifts between sectors and geographies. He chapter then examines the change in the number and distribution of high-skill graduates and professionals in occupations associated with advanced manufacturing, by occupation, province and race. This analysis identifies how many of these highly skilled professionals live in the country where they work and the extent to which transformation has affected their occupations, as high skills are a key determinant of the performance of advanced manufacturing. The chapter concludes with a comparison of long-term trends in the composition of output, trade and investments on the one hand, and of requisite professions and skills on the other, which indicates the presence of possible fault lines between present and prospective industrial activity and human capital available to the country. This comparison suggests that a more nuanced approach to claims of an existing or impending skills crisis is needed.