Developing a National Skills Forecasting Tool for South Africa: Labour Market Projections: A Review of International Best Practice, Annex B

by WILSON, R., 2004
Research report, Employment and Economic Policy Research, Human Sciences Research Council, Pretoria, with the Warwick Institute for Employment Research. Prepared for the SA Department of Labour

As part of its National Skills Development Strategy, the Department of Labour commissioned a research project on the feasibility of developing forecasting models and tools to identify future skill needs in South Africa. The first phase of the project involved a review of international best practice and of existing data and previous approaches to this topic in South Africa. In conjunction, these two elements allow an assessment of what is desirable and feasible in a South African context. The report begins with a summary of the various methods used across the world to anticipate changing skill needs, with particular emphasis on quantitative occupational employment forecasting. This draws on an in-depth review, which is contained in two separate Annexures (A and B). The report then discusses previous work on occupational employment forecasting, assesses relevant data, and reviews modelling capacity in South Africa, including the availability of macro-modelling capacity. The next section draws together the key findings, outlining what types of modelling are feasible, given current data and modelling capacity. The review suggests that there is sufficient modelling capacity in South Africa upon which to develop a robust, national, multi-sectoral forecasting system for occupational employment forecasting. There is also some useful data for such models, despite certain limitations. The report concludes with detailed recommendations for a methodology for future skills forecasting in South Africa.