Getting the Labour Market, National Skills Strategy and Industrial Policy Mix Right for Growth and Development

Course Description:

The course enables participants to conceptualise the complex inter-relationship between labour markets, skills strategies and industrial policy in developing economies. The way developing economies respond to globalisation, technology, trade, work changes, skills shortages and labour markets will determine the economic stars and laggards of the future. Many countries are vigorously pursuing industrial policy and active labour markets programmes to arrest high unemployment, growing socio-economic inequalities, welfare pressures, rising youth expectations and anaemic GDP growth.

The disjuncture between labour markets, skills strategy and industrial policy is a debilitating occurrence affecting many developing economies. Getting the labour market, skills strategy and industrial policy to work in sync is a major policy and implementation challenge. Unless this happens, meeting the goals of the developmental state is at risk.

Our course equips participants with the knowledge, skills and analytical tools to diagnose the labour market, evaluate industrial policy and national skills strategies in the context of an inclusive growth agenda. This programme is a must for any public sector official at middle or senior levels who is part of policies and programmes to meet the developmental goals of the state.

Participants are encouraged to bring policy documents of their departments to the course for discussion and analysis.

We also examine the factors that make national economies grow or stagnate. We use case studies to analyse the sustained growth path of South East Asian tiger economies and see what makes them tick. We look critically at the challenges and opportunities facing Africa and what needs to be done on the skills development front to support employment and a high growth trajectory.

Participants will be equipped to apply diagnostic techniques, gather evidence, examine options, formulate insights and make sound decisions.

Target Audience:

This course is designed for employees in the following:

  • National, provincial and local governments departments
  • Public sector agencies and parastatals
  • Sector Education & Training Authorities
  • FET and HET institutions
  • Trade unions, Employer and Trade associations
  • Companies
  • Research institutes
  • Education Institutions
  • NGOs

The course is ideal for public sector managers, policy-makers, planners, researchers, trade unionists, employer representatives, FET and HET managers, consultants, HR managers, NGO Managers and people working with labour market information, sector strategies and industrial policy.


On completion of the course, participants are able to:

  • Identify and analyse key indicators of the labour market (KILM).
  • Diagnose problems in the process and functioning of labour markets.
  • Understand and apply basic theoretical constructs of labour economics.
  • Analyse and evaluate industrial policy in a developing economy.
  • Use appropriate tools and techniques to analyse skills supply and demand.
  • Determine the impact of the changing nature of work on people, organisations and the labour market.
  • Analyse the linkage between the labour market, skills strategy and industrial policy.
  • Identify the factors that make some economies grow and others stagnate.

Learning Methods:

The course is “practice-based” and “practitioner-led” encompassing discussion, analysis and evaluation. Case studies analysis forms an integral part of the programme.

Training Units:

There are six training units:

Fundamentals of Labour Economics:

This training unit is a basic introduction to labour economics. It focuses on equipping participants with an understanding of the theoretical constructs of labour economics. Key issues such as the supply and demand of labour, wages and the cost of labour, productivity and unemployment are explored. Participants are encouraged to apply these theoretical constructs to analyse the functioning of labour markets through a variety of case studies.

Labour Market Diagnostics:

This training unit is on diagnosing the labour market. participants learn to apply tried and tested techniques to analyse the labour market in terms of key labour market signals and indicators. Participants use qualitative and quantitative information sources. Effective methods to present statistical reports to decision-makers and other users are discussed. Case studies are discussed and analysed.

Labour Market Information Systems:

This training unit on using labour market information systems (lmis). Participants learn how to use lmis and what is needed in the development of such systems. It examines the nature, importance and usage of labour market information and its sources. It covers the process of collecting, processing, analysing, interpreting and presenting LMI. Special attention is paid to using LABORDOC, KLIM and StatsSA labour market information systems.

Lational Skills Strategies:

This training unit explores national skills development strategies in selected countries. participants evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of such strategies in the context of national development goals. Activities are undertaken to align skills strategies to other policy orientations. The relationship between skills strategies, labour markets and Industrial Policy are addressed.

Industrial Policy:

This training unit explores the different dimensions of industrial policy. We trace industrial development and discuss the current industrial policy debates. participants learn to evaluate the strengths and limitations of industrial policy. We use selective case studies of a range of countries at various stages of industrial development to show how different choices lead to different outcomes. We also show why countries making the same Industrial Policy choices arrive at very different outcomes. Participants learn to align Industrial Policy to National Skills Development Strategies.

New Age of Work:

We are in the midst of a work revolution with work itself being fundamentally redefined. There are a number of change drivers influencing the way we work and how we work in a modern economy. This training unit creates a compelling portrait of the changing nature of work and its implications for the workers, organisations and the national economic success. Participants learn to engage with the new age of work changes that will have a lasting effect on everyone in the decades to come.


The course is delivered over five days with one training unit taken per day. The course can also be offered over three days covering any three training units. Any single training unit can also be taken over one day as a workshop.


Due to our commitment to customise the learning intervention to meet client, we only accept group bookings of a minimum of 5 participants or more per cohort. On confirmation of the delivery date, we will engage the client on customisation priorities. The course is delivered either on-site or off-site depending on client preferences.


The cost of the course depends on whether it is delivered off-site or on-site. This is available on request from
FR Research Services. Corporate discounts are available for 5 or more participants from the same organisation.

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