Workplace-based learning programmes and transition to the labour market

SOURCE: Post-school education and the labour market in South Africa
OUTPUT TYPE: Chapter in Monograph
TITLE AUTHOR(S): A.Wildschut, G.Kruss
DEPARTMENT: Education and Skills Development (ESD), Center for Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators (CeSTii)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 10724

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However, we know very little about whether the current workplace-based learning system in South Africa is functioning as expected. Should policymakers be providing greater resources to strengthen and further expand WPBL programmes, as a component of the South African PSET system, and if so, how and where? To engage with the policy issue, we need to raise critical questions. Firstly, do these programmes serve to include and skill a larger and more representative proportion of the South African youth? Secondly, what are the differences in the ways in which these programmes provide opportunities for skilling? Thirdly, do these programmes skill citizens in ways that will increase their opportunities for employment? To answer these questions, this chapter draws on two sources of evidence. Firstly, we use administrative data managed by SETAs to create population datasets on learnerships, apprenticeships and internships.1 We analyse these data over two time periods in order to assess shifts in the scale and patterns of inclusiveness of provision. Secondly, we analyse an original dataset created from a tracer study of learnership and apprenticeship completers in 2009/10 (Kruss et al. 2012). This allows the chapter to contribute methodologically as well illustrating that analysis of a combination of administrative and survey data provides for a very powerful assessment of impact.2 We conclude by arguing that WPBL offers a valuable and viable pathway by enabling transition into the South African labour market, and that the current policy focus should continue and be deepened.