The Insurance Sector Education Training Authority (INSETA’s) purpose is to grow the pool and quality of scarce and critical skills in the insurance and related services sector, enhancing the sector and supporting the country’s transformation. Credible research based on robust evidence is essential to support decision-making by employers, insurance sector stakeholders, INSETA, and the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET).

To this end, the INSETA Research Chair and Centre of Research Excellence at the Development Policy Research Unit (DPRU), has embarked on developing and implementing a formal research programme that aims to address some key policy-relevant research questions. Further, the work will contribute to consolidating the body of evidence as it pertains to skills in the insurance sector: identifying knowledge gaps and strengthening data collection.

Dr Morné Oosthuizen, Deputy Director & Chief Research Officer at the DPRU, holds the INSETA-UCT Research Chair.


As part of the skills development landscape, the Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) play a critical role in facilitating skills development throughout the economy, and are an important interface between employers and government. SETAs are structured according to economic sectors, with INSETA covering the insurance sector. Within this sector, there exists a diverse array of subsectors, namely long-term insurance; short-term insurance; life insurance; insurance and pension funding; risk management; unit trusts; administration of health insurance; funeral insurance; reinsurance; pension funding; ancillary services; and intermediary insurance.

The appointment of two university Research Chairs in the Western Cape and KwaZulu Natal, comprising centers of research excellence at public universities, was intended to provide applied research capacity support to INSETA in fulfillment of its research mandate and agenda. The category was described as "Skills Planning Research and Technology - Insurance sector skills planning, labour market research and skills identification, anticipation and Technological advancements, artificial intelligence, 4.0 industrial revolution and its impact on the insurance sector with a view to reskilling, upskilling and multiskilling the workforce". The benefits to INSETA needed to include an open body of insurance knowledge, sector skills planning and research support, new programme development, a partnership with a public university, and the infusion of emerging global knowledge to local practice, policy and regulation. 

Dr Surendra Thakur (Colin) at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) was awarded the InSeta Research Chair: Digitalisation. This partnership aimed at mitigating the 4IR retrenchment wave through research training, retraining, and cross training, and the Centre of Excellence will be implemented with concepts such as Data Science and Artificial Intelligence services at its heart. Read more here.


The work of the INSETA Research Chair at the DPRU can be divided into a number of broad thematic areas:.

  • Issues relating to the economy and the labour market, including: skills supply, demand, and mismatches; sector profiling; occupations in high demand and skills gaps; youth employment; SMME development; transformation, employment equity and BBBEE; and the future of work.
  • A second set of issues relates broadly to education and training, including: curriculum development; work-integrated learning; impact assessment of training; human resource development; demand-driven training institutions; and new programme development.
  • A third set of issues revolve around technology, the fourth industrial revolution, artificial intelligence, and the future of work.
  • Finally, issues around cyber-security and regulation and taxation comprise the fourth thematic area.

Research Outputs 

  • INSETA Partnership. 2021. Learning and Career Pathways in the Insurance Sector.
  • INSETA Partnership. 2021. Job Quality in the Insurance Sector.
  • INSETA Partnership. 2021. The Effects of COVID-19 on Employment and Training, and the Implications for the Insurance Sector.
  • INSETA Partnership. 2021. Green Economy in the Insurance Sector.


  1. Research Report Presentation on the Profile of the Insurance Sector virtual MS Teams event, on 19 July 2021, presented by Dr. Morne Oosthuizen of the DPRU, and co-hosted by the INSETA Skills Division Research Team.

Capacity Building

INSETA, through the Centre of Excellence, also plans to directly support the production of new graduates through the provision of bursaries for postgraduate studies. This includes funding Honours, Masters, and PhD students working in areas related to the above research areas.