I have been considering the implications of the proposed changes and the “changing face” of the NSDS 3. Yes, there is a need to look at and review the intentions of the NSDS.
Previously NSDS 1 & 2 appeared on face value to have merit but with hind sight I think we can safely say very little has happened to improve the lot of those for whom the NSDS was intended. This is what needs to change and in order to achieve this change we need to start thinking in terms of the present and the future and not the past.
Let’s get off the band waggon of correcting the imbalances of the past (not however to be forgotten) and start concentrating our efforts on what can be done to improve the current skills situation while at the same time making provision for future needs in this regard.
Melanie Harvard in a previously blog says – “the 2 huge needs I see are in the masses of youth who didn’t quite make it as far as grade 12, and also the need for public higher to let go of what they think they know, and re-engage with real-world needs if the qualifications learners are going to achieve are really going to equip them for the world of work properly”
This requires we consider the present and deal with the problems of the present while at the same time taking cognisance of the future.
Perhaps those who have pulled out of or failed prior to grade 12 should be encouraged to undertake a qualification at a FET College fully subsidised by means of a 1 to 3 year learnership grant. I say a FET College because I am referring to the ned for a trade or technical qualification. The subjects offered to these people should be related to the skills shortage as set out in the NSDS. Learners however would also be required to gain apractical workplace experience.
This can be achieved if companies are approached and requested to take in such learners and to put them under the guidance of a coach or mentor for the duration of the practicals. We could also make use of the expertise of unemployed, highly experienced individuals, to assist companies in providing the coaching service. There should be no expense involved for the companies involved but they could be offered tax incentives as an enducement.
We need to offer the current unemployed youth and the current school “drop outs” some help, assistance and encouragement. We need to give them a goal, we need to offer them an opportunity for self empowerment and assist them in achieving a sense of self worth and achievement.
We need to live in the present while considering the future and leaving the past behind