Will skills save us? Rethinking the relationships between vocational education, skills development policies, and social policy in South Africa

This study focuses on skills development in South Africa. It examines the relationship between TVET and development. In South Africa, numerous skills interventions are believed to have failed to increase the numbers of skilled workers. Skills shortages and an inflexible labour market are regarded as causes of unemployment. The State regulates skills development through qualification and quality assurance. Limited emphasis is placed on provision systems and curriculum development. Experiences from South Africa exemplify some of the challenges of developing successful skills development programmes in the context of inadequate social security, high levels of job insecurity and high levels of inequalities. Market led TVET education is found lacking in this context.

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