Incoherence in the South African labour market for intermediate skills

SOURCE: Journal of Education and Work
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2008
TITLE AUTHOR(S): A.Kraak
KEYWORDS: APPRENTICESHIPS, FURTHER EDUCATION & TRAINING COLLEGES, LABOUR MARKET, SKILLS DEVELOPMENT
DEPARTMENT: Education and Skills Development (ESD)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 5493

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Abstract

This article is concerned with the production and employment of technically skilled labour at the intermediate level in South Africa. Three differing labour market pathways to intermediate skilling are identified. These are: the traditional apprenticeship route, the new 'Learnerships' pathway (similar to the 'modern apprenticeship' schemes adopted in the UK) and finally, further education and training college programmes in engineering and related technical fields. It is argued that in sharp contrast to the highly structured conditions of the artisanal 'occupational labour market' of yesteryear, the three training pathways that operate in South Africa today possess few linkages with each other or with employment. In addition, as access to opportunities in the labour market have opened up politically for black South Africans since the advent of democracy in 1994, so access to employment after training has weakened for this social grouping because of the lack of structured linkages between these pathways and employment, and more generally, because of the failure of the 'new South Africa' to create meaningful pathways from school to work.