Production of Professionals

Production of Professionals

Production of Professionals


Problem Statement:

The HRD Council recognised early after its inception that South Africa was not producing enough graduates in priority areas and as a result there were skills shortages across a range of economic sectors. This was compounded by the fact that there was an uneven production of professionals across race groups, graduate throughput rates are unacceptably low and the production of a professional was a long-term process. (For example it could take up to 16 years to produce a cardiac surgeon). This inefficiency in the system resulted in high levels of wastage in terms of money spent but also, more importantly, in high levels of youth unemployment.

This challenge resulted in the initiation of the HRDC Production of Professionals project. The project investigated ways of creating greater efficiencies with regards to the production of professionals in South Africa.

The Production of Professionals project undertook the following research studies:

  • An international benchmarking study was commissioned that highlights the fact that South Africa is lagging far behind peer economies in terms of the number of professionals per 1000 of the population. The report acknowledges that there are multiple project owners who all have an important role to play in the development of a professional. These role-players include various government departments, universities, companies, professional bodies as well as organisations such as the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). The report specifically unpacks the role that professional bodies have to play in the development of a professional and highlights the initiatives that the various professional bodies have undertaken in an attempt to address some of the identified blockages. Finally the report contains a number of recommendations that will need to be taken by a wide range of project owners in order to unlock the identified blockages.
  • To investigate bursary and scholarship spend in the country. Currently there are a number of companies, government departments, donor agencies and foreign governments that invest in bursaries and/or scholarships. There is a need to better understand this spend and develop recommendations regarding ways in which this money can be strategically used to ensure a flow of professionals into areas required by the labour market.

Download the reports here:

Improving professionals in areas of scarce skills

Status of the bursary scholarship funding landscape in SA 2013

Status of Bursary Funding in SA for Prod of Prof TTT – 01 Nov 2013