- May 9, 2023
- Posted by: CBS Support
- Category: News
CHE Publishes Skills Audit Study Findings
The Council on Higher Education together with Technical and Vocational Department (TVD) conducted a National Skills Audit Baseline Study. This was in response to the challenge of high unemployment rate among youth resulting from skills mismatches. The study aimed to audit skills within various sectors of the economy with a view to identifying skills mismatches in the Lesotho labour market. Specifically, the study addressed the following research questions;
- How prevalent are skills gaps in the various sectors of Lesotho’s labour market?
- How prevalent are skills shortages in the various sectors of Lesotho’s labour market?
- What mechanisms can be employed to improve employability of Basotho?
A private consultancy firm, Kesi Business Solutions was commissioned to undertake the study. The findings of the study point to skills gaps among professionals in, among others, information communication and technology; finance and insurance; energy and agriculture to name but a few. This is despite the country having unemployed graduates with qualifications in these areas. The main explanation for this pattern is limited skills among graduates because of the misalignment between courses they have studied at tertiary institutions which are not aligned to the needs of the labour market. In addition, most tertiary institutions offer diploma level programmes. Another challenge highlighted by the study relates to persons occupying positions with lower qualifications than required owing to recruitment that is not based on merit (corruption and nepotism).
The following are some additional findings of the study:
- There is a high prevalence of skills mismatch across all sectors;
- There is little interaction between tertiary institutions and industry on skills development;
- Companies make minimal contribution towards upskilling their workers;
- Some employers experienced difficulties filling vacancies as a result of applicants’ lack of experience and required skills.
Summary of Recommendations
The following are some of the key recommendations made by the study:
- The National Manpower Development Secretariat should prioritise sponsorship of programmes that respond to labour market needs as informed by regular assessments and research studies.
- The Ministry of Education and Training through CHE should encourage institutions to review existing programmes and introduce new ones in order to be more relevant to the labour market needs.
- TVET institutions should complement their training on technical “hard” skills with the very much-needed “soft” skills across all curricula.
- TVET institutions should strengthen their interphase with industry for both their trainers and students. This will help to broaden their skill-sets through attachments, internships, and other opportunities.
- The Government should establish a training levy that compels medium to large scale companies to contribute a certain percentage (i.e. 2-5%) from their wage bill to be channeled towards capacity building of their workforce.
It is critical for all role players to work together towards implementation of recommendations of this study. Being a baseline study, the next version of the same study will be conducted after five years. The full study report is available on the CHE website.