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Skills For The Future

How do actors in the educational field respond to the changing skills demands of the future? Research teams from the Labour Market Intelligence Partnership (LMIP) undertook a set of experimental and innovative case studies to improve our understanding of how current research intersects with a rapidly changing future. The chapters in Skills for the Future: New Research Perspectives are based on this research. The book provides fresh evidence of the changing face of work in different sectors in South Africa, how this change reflects shifting global patterns, how it impacts on the skills required by new forms of occupation and profession, and how it impacts on post-school education and training institutions.

Skills for the Future: New Research Perspectives presents innovative research that makes a contribution to knowledge in an important and poorly understood area. The main thread that runs through the book is the movement from macro to meso and micro levels, and what this can reveal to identify targeted incentive mechanisms and interventions that may be significant for wider use in the post-school education and training sub-system.’

–Professor Stephanie Allais, Director of the Centre for Researching Education and Labour (REAL), School of Education, University of the Witwatersrand


Skilling for the future: New Research Perspectives presents innovative research that makes a contribution to knowledge in an important and poorly understood area. The main thread that runs through the book is the movement from macro to meso- and micro levels, and what this can reveal to identify targeted incentive mechanisms and interventions that may be significant for wider use in the post-school education and training sub-system. –Professor Stephanie Allais, Director of Researching Education and Labour REAL Centre, University of Witwatersrand.

Product information

Format : 240mm x 168mm (Soft Cover)
Pages : 192
ISBN 13 : 978-0-7969-2436-0
Publish Year : March 2019
Rights : World Rights


Chapter 1: The need for new kinds of research

Glenda Kruss and Angelique Wildschut

Chapter 2: Skills Planning for South Africa: getting the questions right

John Buchanan


Chapter 3: Work change, occupational milieus and their impact on skills requirements

Angelique Wildschut and Tamlynne Meyer

Chapter 4: The boundaries of artisanal work and occupations in South Africa, and their relation to inequality

Angelique Wildschut and Tamlynne Meyer

Chapter 5: Work futures for artisans and technicians

Angelique Wildschut

Chapter 6: Curriculum responsiveness and student employability: An institutional analysis

Volker Wedekind


Chapter 7: A framework for understanding capabilities for skills development in sectoral systems of innovation

Glenda Kruss and Il-haam Petersen

Chapter 8: High skills and labour market alignment: The case of the SKA

Michael Gastrow, Glenda Kruss and Il-haam Petersen

Chapter 9: The role of intermediaries in responding to shifting skills needs

Il-haam Petersen and Glenda Kruss

Chapter 10: Higher education and economic development: The importance of building technological capabilities

Glenda Kruss, Simon Mcgrath, Il-haam Petersen and Michael Gastrow

Chapter 11 Skills planning and development for the future in South Africa

Glenda Kruss, Angelique Wildschut and Il-haam Petersen

Glenda Kruss is the Deputy Executive Director of the Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators at the Human Sciences Research Council, after many years as Research Director in the Education and Skills Development programme. Over the past ten years, she has worked in the field of innovation studies, to understand the role of universities and public research institutes in economic and social development, and the determinants of skills and knowledge flows within sectoral, national and global systems of innovation. She has collabo-rated on comparative projects in Africa, Latin America, Asia and Europe. She has led large scale projects for national government, building alliances and networks between researchers, policy makers and practitioners, most significantly, the Labour Market Intelligence Partnership (LMIP) programme for and with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

Angelique Wildschut is a senior manager: research and policy at the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). She completed her DPhil at the University of Stellenbosch in 2011. Her thesis focused on the attrition of female medical doctors from the South African medical profession. Her more recent work has continued to draw on the sociology of work and professions literature, but extends related conceptual frames to study the world of work more broadly and a wider range of occupations. She remains interested in the perpetuation of structural inequalities in the world of work and its relation to occupational description.

Il-haam Petersen is a senior research specialist at the Centre for the Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators (CeSTII) of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC). She holds a doctorate degree in Sociology from Trinity College Dublin in Ireland. Prior to joining CeSTII, Il-haam completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Education and Skills Development programme of the HSRC. Il-haam’s research areas include mixed methods social network analysis and network-institutional approaches to analysing inter-organisational networks and informal networks; and innovation and development, particularly the micro-level foundations of innovation, using sociological approaches and innovation systems approaches.


John Buchannan is Professor and Head of Discipline, Business Analytics, University of Sydney Business School. He has degrees in history and law, a post-graduate diploma in economics and a PhD in industrial relations. His primary research interest is the evolution of the labour contract, working life transitions and the dynamics of workforce development. He is currently leading the academic element of a three-year collaboration with the New South Wales Government that is exploring how data science can guide reform of vocational education in that State. He is also helping link Business School research and education activity with the transformation of health and wellbeing in Western Sydney. He was an editor (along with Chris Warhurst, Ken Mayhew and David Finegold) of the Oxford Handbook of Skills and Training, released by Oxford University Press in 2017.

Michael Gastrow is a Chief Research Specialist in the Education and Skills Development research programme of the Human Sciences Research Council. He holds a PhD in Science Journalism from the University of Stellenbosch. His research focus is on innovation, skills development, the public understanding of science, and science communication. He has applied these disciplinary lenses to sectoral studies in biotechnology, astronomy, automotive manufacturing, and ICTs, as well as to the study of innovation for inclusive development, and global innovation networks.

Tamlynne Meyer is a researcher in the Education and Skills Development (ESD) research programme at the Human Sciences Research Council. She is registered for a PhD in Sociology at the University of Stellenbosch. Tamlynne’s research areas include the sociology of professions, social closure and workplace inequality. Her PhD focuses on processes of social closure for women lawyers in South Africa. In the study she uses a feminist and Bourdieusian approach. In more recent work, she has investigated the changing nature of work in selected artisanal trades.

Volker Wedekind is Associate Professor in Vocational Education in the University of Nottingham’s School of Education. He is a member of the Centre for International Education Research and Director of the UNEVOC Centre. He holds a PhD from the University of Manchester. He has published on education policy, reform, curriculum change, and the consequences for teaches in education systems. His current research focuses on change and continuity in the institutional dimensions of vocational systems, the interface between labour market dynamics and education, and the role of vocational education in dealing with migration in sending and receiving societies.

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