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Higher Education and Training Minister, Naledi Pandor has urged leaders of big business to secure partnerships with the department to implement programmes for training artisans and entrepreneurs in a range of sectors.
“National employer associations have a key role to play in modernising Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges system for the production of intermediate-level skills….are you ready to rise to the challenges.” Minister Pandor said.
The Minister made the call during a meeting with captains of industry to introduce the department’s major training initiative to boost youth employment in South Africa, referred to as the Centres of Specialisation (COS), the programme aims to secure partnerships between the industry and 26 TVET colleges, countrywide, for the training of top artisans in 13 priority trade areas.
These areas include bricklayers, electricians, boilmakers, plumbers, automotive and diesel mechanics, carpenters and joiners, welders, fitters and turners and riggers.
According to the most recent employment statistics, one in two young people aged 15 -34 are unemployed.
Minister Pandor said that the department has been working on a programme to ensure South Africa has the skills for it national infrastructure plan, as well as for the ocean economy and War on Leaks.
“It is our intention to provide the skills through the partnership we will strengthen today. We have been liaising with the TVET colleges sector and key industry players to formulate a well-designed industry-government skills development plan,” Minister Pandor said.
She also reported that the department has secured 780 grants commitments for SETAs, meaning “there is grant for every contracted apprenticeship in the programme.”
“The National Skills Fund has set aside R150 million to support the colleges to ensure they are up-to-date and ready. The department will be presenting the plans to SETAS in the first week of April to secure their support. We will also meet with potential partners.”
Business representatives welcomed the meeting with the Minister, noting that they are the primary lead players in the system and its imperative that they work together with government.
Nazarene Mannie from Business Leadership South Africa is keen to engage with the Minister and welcome the opportunity for the day’s meeting.
“We are very committed to skills development, particularly artisan and apprenticeship development. We think South Africa needs a strong technical skills to grow our economy. We also want to combine it with entrepreneur development,” said Mannie.
– Report by SAnews.gov.za