Reddy, V, Wildschut, A, Luescher, T, Petersen, I, Rust, J, (2018) Skills development legislation as a lever of change to reduce poverty, inequality and unemployment.

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The purpose of the study is to establish how skills legislation be a lever of change in the Post-School Education and Training system?
Using a novel approach that combined a systemic review of the skills policy system and focussed analyses of three core Acts, the study identified aspects that may be impeding South Africa from meeting its developmental goals of decreasing poverty, inequality and unemployment. Drawing on this new evidence base, the project highlights four broad recommendations.
Firstly, we argue for skills legislation that explicitly responds to the twin challenges of South African skills development which is that we have a labour market showing demand for high skilled workers, but there is a surplus of low skilled potential workers. While this challenge requires continued investments in a differentiated higher education system, we argue that a greater impact on poverty, inequality and unemployment can be made by more strongly focusing on quality lower NQF level qualifications (1 – 4). Secondly, we argue for shifting the policy gaze away from regulation, employability and high skills to skills provision and outcomes that are concerned with a qualitative change in the lives of South Africans, fostering holistic human development, capabilities for sustainable livelihoods, and self-employment (and entrepreneurship). Thirdly, the system can also benefit from simplifying complexity that allows a more student-centred system. Finally, instead of creating more institutions, more focus should be on improving linkages, rationalising regulatory arrangements, and enabling more flexibility for access to, articulation and progression in the NQF

Type(s):  Report