South Africa’s Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande, launched the Labour Market Intelligence Partnership (LMIP) project, which will be the basis for excellence in education and skills and a growing economy in the country.
The three year £6.5 million project was launched by the South African Department of Higher Education and Training and the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) of South Africa, with The University of Nottingham as the lead international partner. Nottingham’s involvement is led by led by Simon McGrath, Professor in International Education and Development in the University of Nottingham’s School of Education.
The project builds on work he has done with the HSRC over the past decade and on a wider initiative to redesign a strategy for skills development for 14 countries in the Southern African region. For the past 18 months, Professor McGrath has been collaborating with a team of around 20 international researchers to review national systems and develop a strategic framework for reform. The work is commissioned the Southern African Development Community and UNESCO and will be a blueprint to shape future labour market analysis and planning in the region.
Professor McGrath, is a leading expert on the role of aid in shaping education and vocational education and training systems in Africa. He was Director of the Human Resources Development Research Programme of the HSRC and is the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Educational Development. He currently advises a number of government departments and international agencies and is co-author of UNESCO's forthcoming World Report on Technical and Vocational Education and Training.
Professor McGrath said: “South Africa has made considerable progress in developmental terms but still faces high levels of unemployment, which have an uneven impact according to race, gender, and where people live. The LMIP programme will support the national policy commitment to producing a skilled and capable workforce by providing the government with the vital data it needs to judge the performance of existing systems and evidence to guide policies such as what the post-school provision should be.”
Speaking at the launch in Pretoria, Minister Nzimande said: “Put simply, this project aims to set up systems for reliable data indicating skills needs, supply and demand in our labour market in a manner that will enable our country, including government and business to plan better for human resources development needs of our country.
“The LMIP research project that we are launching therefore marks an important step towards these ends in terms of its focus on contributing towards the creation of a credible labour market intelligence framework – the establishment of a functional interface that will ensure better information gathering, analysis, and overall systems synergy in pursuit of a skills development agenda that is developmental, forward-looking, and embedded in empirical analysis of systems challenges and opportunities. It will provide information that is crucial to all our post school systems and to all sections of the labour market itself.”
The core partners in the LMIP project will be the Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa, the University of Witwatersrand and the University of Cape Town. There will also be involvement of other universities, think tanks and consultancies, with Nottingham being the only international partner so far invited.
Posted on 6th September 2012