Ms Bongiwe Mncwango is a Research Manager within the Education and Livelihoods theme of the Inclusive Economic Development (IED) Unit of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC). Bongiwe has a Master of Industrial Sociology from the University of Witwatersrand and is currently working towards her PhD focusing on public attitudes to work in South Africa.
Her areas of research interest are post-school education and skills development, labour markets and inequality, changing nature of work and occupations, and quality of work life. She is well experienced in survey and evaluation research.
Bongiwe has built expertise in the area of skills development, particularly around the acquisition of skills required for social inclusion and inclusive development. She has recently been involved in various projects within the broader Labour market Intelligence Partnership (LMIP) programme, a five-year programme that set up systems for reliable data indicating skills supply and demand in the South African labour market. The programme was commissioned by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) in South Africa and represented one of the largest global research investments relating to skills planning. Bongiwe was also part of the team that developed the 2018 List of Occupations in High Demand in South Africa. Her study on Public attitudes to work in South Africa received endorsement from the DHET as a significant contribution to the department?s understanding of the labour market in terms of who receives training in the workplace and over and underqualification dynamics.
Bongiwe has also worked with different Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) exploring factors affecting skills supply and demand in their respective sectors in the light of continually changing economic landscapes; and conducting impact evaluations of their skills development interventions. Over many years, Bongiwe has worked with various national government departments and agencies including the Department of Home Affairs, South African National Roads Agency and Statistics South African (Stats SA). She has worked with the Department of Employment and Labour since 2011 as part of the team that conducted an Impact Assessment of National Skills Development Strategy II, more recently leading the team of researchers that implemented a national study investigating work seekers' experience of unemployment and their job search behaviour.
Bongiwe has also been involved in a number of projects focused on graduates? labour market outcomes, the recent project being an investigation of absorption into employment of NSFAS-funded graduates which culminated in a co-authored peer reviewed research article. Bongiwe is currently a co-principle investigator in a large-scale study commissioned by the South African Council of Natural Science Professions (SACNASP) to investigate transitions of natural science graduates to labour markets and livelihoods. Such an understanding will assist to better understand and support the development of natural science professionals.
Bongiwe has completed over twenty research reports, and nine academic publications including peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters. Her most recent publication is a co-authored (Angelique Wildschut and Michael Rogan) article entitled: Transformation, stratification and higher education: exploring the absorption into employment of public financial aid beneficiaries across the South African higher education system. She is a member of the Internal Society of Quality of Life Studies (ISQOLS) which encourages research in the field of quality of life (QOL), happiness, and wellbeing studies.