There is evidence that South Africa’s growing skills shortage is increasing. Skills are needed for the economy to grow.
Children that are scoring low in literacy and numeracy tests are not contributing to the fact that we need skilled people. If one looks at the new NCV courses that were registered by the Department of Education it is a concern that the focus is not on skills. Lately one can read the outcry for courses that offer the necessary skills. In Early Childhood Development, for example, the NCV course is a generic course in education and training. After the completion of this 3 years course will the learners be skilled for a specific career?
Other challenges are skilled people that are leaving the country and affirmative action. Government is looking at recruiting large numbers of skilled migrants. Will they be able to manage the flow of people in to South Africa?
Shouldn’t we first look at South Africans with skills and not affirmative action? I have no proof, but I am sure that there are many skilled people from all levels (culture, language, gender, race) in our country that are not used properly.
More questions: Shouldn’t we look at our schooling system? Shouldn’t we look at the courses that training providers are offering?
In Israel maths and science were identified as areas of concern. The solution was to develop a proper pre-school syllabus (a science and mathematical programme). Research has proven over and over the importance of a good foundation and we know that it starts in the pre-school years.
I realize that it will take a new generation to reform the system of skills production, but shouldn’t we start now?