The purpose of this paper is to examine how the eThekwini Municipal Academy (EMA) conducts training needs assessments for vocational skills training for unemployed and disadvantaged youths, KwaZulu-Natal province. By examining the process of training needs assessment (TNA), the focus was on determining how it might influence the success in employment outcomes of the graduates.
The researcher used mixed research methods of qualitative and quantitative approaches. The quantitative research method was a survey questionnaire. The survey questionnaire helped produce a detailed description of respondents' opinions and experiences. The qualitative method in the form of semi-structured interviews helped to present the data from the perspective of the training managers on the process of TNA and opportunities in accessing employment for the graduates. Purposive sampling was used to select 24 training centre managers and 512 trainees. The quantitative data were analysed using SPSS software, and data from interviews were analysed using thematic analysis.
The findings revealed that the most important aspect of the TNA process was that the EMA managers selected and design a training course after consulting and engaging the stakeholders who were also prospective employers to identify needs and job availability within the companies or government departments. The author concludes that the process of TNA involving all stakeholders helped to provide vocational training programmes, which were demand-driven. The process also might promote the best and most promising practices enhancing the transition from skills acquisition to skills utilisation in the labour market.
The results of the study have shown the three main factors that affect the TNA process, which are an individual or person analysis, consulting key stakeholders and labour market assessment. It is hoped that the results of the study can be used by training practitioners for better understanding of factors that can contribute to the effectiveness of vocational skills training for unemployed youth.
The paper is unique because it contributes to the knowledge by explaining the link between the effectiveness of vocational skills training and a proper TNA for unemployed youth. It also provides knowledge on key factors in conducting the TNA process by involving all stakeholders. Existing TNA research focuses on competency-based need analysis for employees of companies, organisations and institutions. Therefore, this paper is significant because it helps to understand the role of TNA in enhancing the effectiveness of vocational skills training for unemployed and disadvantaged youths.
Mayombe, C. (2020), "Needs assessment for vocational skills training for unemployed youth in eThekwini Municipality, South Africa", Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/HESWBL-09-2019-0126Download as .RIS
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