ECONOMICS OF EDUCATION: Can you give a detailed analysis of the manpower requirement approach?



8a ii). Give a detailed analysis of the manpower requirement approach

The Manpower Requirement Approach

The focus of this approach is to forecast the manpower needs of the economy.

That is, it stresses output from the educational system to meet the manpower needs at some future date.

The approach focuses on 3 main elements, namely:

  • Specification of the composition of manpower need at some future date e.g. 2015-2020.
  • Specification of manpower availabilities e.g. in 1995.
  • A specification which reconciles the former specification with the later.

Manpower planning is based on the attempt to forecast the future demand for educated manpower.

Given the length of time taken to reproduce educated professional people, such forecasts may have to be made for some years hence, perhaps fifteen years in the case of the scientist, engineers, or medical doctors.

  1. Manpower could usefully call attention to extreme gaps and imbalances in the education output pattern that need remedy. This does not need elaborate statistical studies.
  2. It gives educators useful guidance on how roughly educational qualifications of the labor force ought to be developed in the future. That is, the relative 02 proportion of people who would have primary education, secondary education and various amount of post-secondary training.
  3. The unemployment and underemployment which may result from some over-emphasis on man-power approach may become a  challenge to move towards the right kind of education which may be development-oriented, and thereby creating its own job.


Weaknesses of the Approach

  1. It gives educational planner limited guidance in the sense that it does not tell what can be actually achieved in every level of education e.g. primary education, secondary education etc.
  2. The approach says nothing about primary education, which is not considered to be work connects. By implication, manpower approach suggests the curbing of the expansion of primary education until the animation is rich enough to expand it. Hence, attention is focused on the cream of education that will contribute to manpower development in the society.
  3. Most manpower needs are mostly needed in the urban employment. Thus, the planner who may be called to plan is not given any useful clues about education requirements to those people like semi-skilled and unskilled workers int excites and vast majority of workers that live in rural areas.
  4. The employment classifications and manpower rations such as desirable ration of engineers to technicians, doctors to nurses etc. and the assumed education qualifications corresponding to each category of job borrowed ideas from industrialized countries or economy. This does not fit into the realities of less developed countries of Africa.
  5. It is impossible to make reliable forecast of manpower requirements far enough ahead of time because of many economic , technological and other uncertainties which are involved.
  6. Technique has largely been applied at the level of person with higher education and has tended to ignore those with lower levels of education , i.e. the great majority of worker.s
  7. Limits itself to headcounts and ignores the effects movements in wages and other prices; largely make use of employment data relating to the public sector and/or to large private firms, whereas in developing countries the majority of workers are liable to be in small firms and/or int ehf informal sector, is based on the historical relationship between output and labour, which is when extrapolated forward decades ahead;
  8. Man-power or women power

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