Using specific Indicators to Measure the Performance of Institution s in the first phase of the National Skills Development Strategy (Rough Notes)

Paul Lundall

Independent Researcher

21 February 2005

Although advertised as a discussion of the performance of Sector Education and Training Authorities, my discussion will really focus on our ability to reach the objectives that have been set out in the national skills development strategy for the period April 2001 to March 2005. I will conclude by recommending ways of improving the organization of the national skills and training system. As the principal vehicle for ensuring that skills delivery and development does take place, the SETAs have of course been pivotal to the process. But my discussion relates to these institutions only in a peripheral way. In research where I especially analyzed the Annual Reports of the SETAs, I made the following observations concerning the systemic problems confronting these institutions at the time:

In 2003 when this research was being conducted it was evident that the targets that had been set for individuals to participate in learnership programmes were unlikely of being met. The reason for this was because there was insufficient time between the operational readiness of many SETAs and the time available to reach the particular targets. This was especially so with respect to the registration of individuals into new learnerships. At the end of June 2002, only 20043 individuals had been registered into learnership programmes and of these only 2868 had completed a learnership.

The discussion today will instead be directed more specifically to interrogating and measuring the attainment of some of the targets that have been set in the first phase of the national skills development strategy. We are almost at the end of the first phase of the strategy and thus I shall like to address the realization or non-realisation of particular indicators used for some of the strategic objectives of the strategy.

The National Skills Development Strategy has been underpinned by five strategic objectives and twelve indicators. Each strategic objective has one or more targets or success indicators. By analyzing indicators for which there is available information we can determine more precisely which objectives have been reached in the National Skills Strategy and what we ought to do to improve the performance or mitigate areas in which failures have occurred. Even though we now have quite a bit of information at our disposal to identify the performance of the NSDS, a much clearer picture will only emerge towards the end of 2005 when we have complete data available. The strategic objectives and indicators that are relevant to our discussion are the following:

Strategic Objective 1: Developing a culture of high quality life long learning


Strategic Objective 5: Assisting new entrants into employment

The preliminary data which I am going to present however tells a very interesting story and indicates a trend which although incomplete is not fundamentally different from what will be revealed when more complete information is available. Let us look at what this data tells us.



Data Relating to Strategic Objective One

(note that the Tables use data from the Labour Force Surveys for 2000 and 2002, but in my presentation, I shall use data for 2000 and 2003)

Table 1



Table 2


Table 3





Table 5




Data on Training in Firms

(Note that this data is derived from research that I am doing for the Western Cape Department of Economic Development & Tourism)

Table 7

The above changes are consistent by provincial, sectoral (industrial sector) and occupational classification. I will try and have additional Tables at hand to demonstrate this trend.




Table 8



Table 9