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The PACE Research Institute undertakes ad hoc research projects to advance career development. Our research is aimed at improving career development practices on the continent.

Below are a sample of research projects that we have undertaken. 

Sustainable Entrepreneurship through Small Business Incubation

Sustainable Entrepreneurship through Small Business Incubation

The PACE small business incubator was established to determine whether TVET college graduates if given adequate support could start a business and generate sufficient revenue to sustain themselves.   

The small business incubator was a business development support centre situated at the Central Johannesburg College in Parktown. The incubator was set up as a joint initiative between PACE Career Centre, the City of Johannesburg and the Central Johannesburg College in order to provide young entrepreneurs with support in starting and setting up small businesses.

The incubator was started in November 2005 with a selection  process to identify potential candidates.

Reducing dropouts at TVET Colleges through Academic Placement Testing

Reducing dropouts at TVET Colleges through Academic Placement Testing

Academic placement testing at TVET colleges was initiated to reduce the high number of students  failing the NCV curriculum.

Our concern was that learners were being recruited into colleges from as early as grade 10 and these learners lacked the career maturity to make realistic career and study decisions. The final result was that young learners in their droves were failing and dropping out of TVET college and because they were on a 'scholarship' they were unable to continue at college and also unable to return to school thus adding to youth unemployment.This project was initiated together with the  Centre for Access Assessment Testing at Nelson Mandela University.


Research into Science and Technology careers

This research was commissioned by the Department of Science and Technology. The objective was to publish a careers handbook that promoted STEM careers with a particular emphasis on promoting Postgraduate studies. This research project involved both desktop and field work.

This research was conducted for the forat time in 2014 and for a second time in 2019.


Developing a National Competency Framework for Career Development Practitioners

The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) in 2015 commissioned the development of the 'Competency Framework for Career Development Practitioners in South Africa'. This research was undertaken together with Nelson Mandela University and the University of Queensland (Australia). The outcome was to identify minimum competencies that individuals needed to possess ion order to provide career guidance. As a result South Africa now has a designated career called a 'Career Development Practitioner'.

The Competency framework was published in Government Gazette No: 40115 on 1 July 2016.


The impact of Mentorship on emerging small business

This research project was inspired by the results shown through the small business incubator.  The question arose  as to whether small businesses would still be as successful without having undergone a small business development programme and without having received seed funding. This project took place at the mentor hub in Louis Botha avenue, Johannesburg and ran for a period of 14 months. 


One of the outcomes emanating from this research project was the design of   the Red pages directory aimed at assisting emerging black businesses to promote their products and services.

Investigation into the design and structure of National Qualification Frameworks

This research occurred in three unrelated phases. The first was conducted in order to give input into the design of the National Career Advice Portal for the South African Qualifications Authority. In 2015 a second research into several of the qualification frameworks of the Small States of the Commonwealth when designing a transnational career guidance system for the Commonwealth Secretariat. In 2016 the knowledge base developed from this research was encapsulated in the design of a database architecture for the Virtual University of the Small States of the Commonwealth. 

Due to confidentiality considerations no data is made available here

Research relating to content development for the Oxford University Press publication on Life Orientation

This research took place over a period of six months in 2013. The outcome was to produce a publication for Oxford University Press that would meet the criteria for the Life Orientation curriculum from Grades 10 to 12. This research focused on the career guidance component of the publication which was released in 2014.

No country can really develop unless its citizens are educated ~ Nelson Mandela

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