Who we are
The HRDC was established in March 2010 with the goal to improve the foundation of human resources in South Africa by focusing on economic and social demands as well as skills development.
Partnering to innovatively develop SA’s human potential
To develop institutional synergies for an integrated Human Resource Development Strategy of South Africa (HRDSA) which will stimulate a culture of training and lifelong learning at individual, organisational and national levels of employability. To increase productivity and the human resource development needed to successfully transform South Africa into a knowledge economy.
OUr Founding History
In March 2006, the South African government decided to establish a short-term skills intervention initiative within the office of the Deputy President. The rationale for this decision was that the government recognised that education and skills development is key to driving socio-economic growth in order to substantially reduce poverty, inequality and unemployment.
The government recognised that while long-term improvement in HRD takes time, an urgent need existed to address priority skills areas immediately, grow the economy and improve labour absorption. The government also pointed out that, in order to be successful, this would require a collaborative effort on behalf of government and all its social partners.
In support of the above a Joint Initiative on Priority Skills Acquisition (JIPSA) was established under the leadership of the then Deputy President as a high-level task team to accelerate human resources and skills development in priority skills areas to support the national growth initiative. JIPSA did not duplicate existing structures but rather set priorities, identified and resolved systems blockages and constraints, and monitored and reported on progress. It also sought to align the training and skills development efforts of the public and private sectors without undermining the development and implementation of longer-term HRD strategies.
The distinguishing feature of JIPSA was that it represented a specific joint venture by government, business and labour to make a critical difference to skills provision over the short and medium terms, in direct response to identified skills needs in the economy and to promote labour absorption. JIPSA focused the attention of key government departments and bodies – such as the SETAs and public education and training providers – on the achievement of core national objectives. It called upon business leadership to ensure that the private sector played an active and energetic role in the provision of priority skills, and it called upon organised labour to throw its weight behind a shared priority skills agenda.
JIPSA, in short, was a joint initiative of government, business and labour to fast-track the provision of priority skills required to support accelerated and shared growth in South Africa. JIPSA did not duplicate the roles of existing government departments, statutory bodies and institutions, but sought to establish mutually agreed priorities, improve communication and the flow of information between the relevant bodies, identify and address problems and bottlenecks, and monitor and report on progress against agreed targets.
JIPSA also provided information and practical experience that informed the establishment of the Human Resource Development Council of South Africa in March 2010, which is a much longer-term strategy that aims to meet the country’s social and economic development needs.
For access to the research reports developed by JIPSA click here:
The Human Resource Development Council of South Africa (HRDC) was the primary institution for HRD coordination among government, organised business, organised labour, community representatives, professional bodies, research and academic representatives and other relevant stakeholders. The HRDC developed the Human Resource Development Strategy for South Africa (HRDSA) 2010-2030 within its first year of operation. This strategy
- Recognised both the demand- and supply-side HRD issues;
- Acknowledged that HRD spans several domains, from the foundations of early childhood development right through to labour market entry;
- Recognised systemic challenges as impediments to successful HRD policy implementation;
- Located HRD in the broader development context and takes into account the challenges posed by developmental issues such as poverty, inequality, high unemployment levels, lack of social cohesion, etc.
This HRD policy framework was grounded on broad‐based and opportunity‐specific HRD strategies and policies that were synchronised with South Africa’s economic development needs. It focused on the elements of HRD that significantly and positively impacted on South Africa’s economic performance such as (i) educational attainment, (ii) skills development, (iii) science and innovation, and (iv) labour market/employment policies. Consequently, this HRD Strategy needed to be situated within the realities of increasing competition and the spread of global production systems, and the need to attain equity and reduce poverty and inequality.
The overarching recommendation for achieving integrated planning within government was to ensure that the HRD planning mechanisms were aligned to the existing architecture for government-wide planning, namely the National Planning Commission in the Presidency. This would ensure that the HRDSA was fully responsive to government’s strategic priorities. At the same time, it would ensure that HRD planning was able to benefit from the institutional mechanisms, policy frameworks and practices that constitute the thrust of government planning. Integration needed to extend beyond government to effectively marshal the current and potential contribution to HRD that originated from outside the public sector. This included working together with the Department of Economic Development, which leads the process of articulation and integration of various policies to ensure coherence as these relate to the industrial policy and the IPAP; and (b) the creation of a single and comprehensive process for labour market analysis and the modelling of skills supply and demand for all sectors.
The HRDC therefore covered the mandate of JIPSA and went further to ensure long term and sustainable HRD initiatives that straddled all sector development and growth. The five year period of HRDSA implementation and monitoring and evaluation led to the 2015 review of the HRDSA and the governance structures for its implementation. The Revised HRD Strategy Towards 2030 is the result of the review together with the revised governance structures of the HRD Council.