The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

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Economic growth in South Africa depends on engineering capacity to provide state-of-the-art, safe infrastructure for service delivery. At the same time the new democracy needs to address transformation. This monograph explores current capacity to address these challenges.

The study provides a demographic analysis of employment trends across the public and private sectors of the economy, and investigates the demand for engineers, technologists and technicians in the workforce. A comprehensive analysis of the educational context for engineering professionals focuses on enrolment, graduation and throughput trends in all engineering disciplines at universities and universities of technology, and reveals that although there have been positive innovations in education and training strategies in recent years, many issues, especially at secondary school level, remain a challenge.

Women in engineering is a particular focus of this study, which devotes a chapter to examining the factors that influence their choice of career, the barriers they experience in the labour market and strategies for encouraging women into the profession.

This comprehensive monograph offers valuable quantitative and qualitative information about engineering capacity across all engineering disciplines in South Africa. It is therefore an important reference for all engineering academics as well as decision-makers in both the private and public sectors, and will be useful to aspiring and current engineering students, whatever their field.

This study forms part of a broader project on professions and professional education within the HSRC Research Programme on Education, Science and Skills Development (ESSD).The research focus of ESSD is wide, spanning three major social domains: the education system, the national system of innovation, and the world of work. The programme is distinctive in that it is able to conduct research at the interface of these domains, to produce comprehensive, integrated and holistic analyses of the pathways of learners through schooling, further and higher education into the labour market and the national system of innovation.

Open Access

Product information

Format : 280mm x 210mm (Soft Cover)
Pages : 116
ISBN 10 : 0-7969-2262-4
ISBN 13 : 978-07969-2262-5
Publish Year : 2009
Rights : World Rights

1 THE SOUTH AFRICAN ENGINEERING LABOUR MARKET AND PROFESSIONAL MILIEU

Introduction
The labour market context
Current employment, and employment trends
The professional milieu
Workforce demand
Conclusion

2 THE EDUCATIONAL CONTEXT FOR ENGINEERING PROFESSIONALS

Drivers of change in engineering education
Secondary school education
Reasons for studying engineering
Higher education: the supply of engineering professionals
Engineering programmes, and the accreditation process
Challenges for institutions offering engineering programmes
Student access and mobility or articulation
Further education and training colleges
Learnerships
Conclusion

3 WOMEN IN ENGINEERING

Strategies to enhance women's participation
Factors influencing women in choosing engineering
Labour market barriers
Graduation trends
Employment trends
Conclusion

4 CONCLUSIONS

Recommendations

ANNEXURE A

REFERENCES

Dr Rnette du Toit holds a DLitt et Phil (Psychology) from the University of Johannesburg. She has extensive research experience in human resources and skills development in the labour market. Dr du Toit is also a member of the International Technology, Education and Development (INTED) 2008-2009 Scientific Advisory Board.

Joan Roodt is a chief researcher in the Education, Science and Skills Development research programme at the HSRC and is a member of the International Technology, Education and Development (INTED) 2008-2009 Scientific Advisory Board.

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