The past thirteen years of democratic rule in South Africa have been characterised by policy making and legislative reform aimed at meeting constitutional imperatives. One of the central programmes of reconstruction is the development of human resources. Within the public service this programme has been addressed by a number of policies and laws, however the building of the developmental state remains a challenge for South Africa. The Ten Year Review conducted by the Presidency of the Republic of South Africa identifies the need for delivery within the public service during the second decade of democracy and urges government departments to “focus on practical implementation as distinct from setting out a policy framework which now exists, through the adoption of project management practices and community development works”. To enhance the implementation of strategic objectives and outputs in departments, capacity building coupled with enabling processes for improving the delivery of services on provincial and local government levels is critical. It is within the above context that this dissertation aims to give an analysis of the state of skills in the South African public service. This dissertation will begin by discussing findings on employment experiences of graduates; thereafter an evaluation of the higher education framework in South Africa will be undertaken. A closer look at the framework for skills development and training in the public service will also be explored. The findings relating to graduate employment experiences includes the period it takes them to find employment, the factors that influence employability, the types of jobs they find, their own perceptions of the relation of the level of jobs they found both to their qualification and the sectors of employment. The study will also explore the mobility in the South African labour market as well as moving abroad and the reasons for this choice. The role of the public sector as an employer will also be explored. A comprehensive analysis of the Higher education initiatives, specifically Further Education Training colleges (FET). A critical analysis of institutions created to promote training and skills development in the public service such Public Service Sector Education and Training Authority (PSETA), South African Management and Development Institute (SAMDI), will be explored adjacent to their performance against their mandates with the objective of establishing their effectiveness. The case of the Department of Provincial and Local Government (DPLG) will be used to demonstrate the point that career management programmes are lacking in the public service and this fuels the increase in turnover of staff. Also the DPLG will be used to illustrate that external consultants are used to provide training and not SAMDI and PSETA, these occurrences within the DPLG will be interrogated. Finally the National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS) will be evaluated to determine its effectiveness in tackling the serious challenge of skills in South Africa.