Pretoria – Higher Education and Training Deputy Minister Mduduzi Manana says companies must work with Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges in order to remain competitive in an increasingly knowledge-based economy.
The Deputy Minister on Thursday visited captains of industry in Polokwane to rally employers to play a significant role in artisan development and training by partnering with TVET colleges.
“The relationship between colleges and industries is, with some exceptions, weak. Some students at colleges are unable to find workplace experience, which they require to complete national diplomas,” said Deputy Minister Manana.
The visit is the Limpopo leg of Deputy Minister Manana’s flagship project of the Decade of the Artisan (2014-2024), where he travels quarterly to provinces to promote artisanship to employers. He also highlights youth not in employment, education or training (NEET) and high school learners.
In a number of national strategies, the need for artisans has been elevated and identified as a priority area for skills development.
Deputy Minister Manana said employers should continuously upgrade skills in the workforce.
“It is for this reason that the Department of Higher Education and Training deems it fit to engage employers to partner with us by opening up your workplace doors for experiential learning for the young people of our country.
“The need for the development of qualified artisans to support the economy remains a high priority, especially when considering that a large number of qualified and competent artisans is required for government’s strategic infrastructure projects like building roads, schools, ports, universities, colleges, power stations and all the other projects,” he said.
Most of these projects have been developed in line with the National Development Plan (NDP) 2030.
Government expects that TVET colleges will play a big role in resolving the country’s acute skills shortage.
The Deputy Minister said the partnership between employers and colleges is key to advance artisan development in order to meet the 30 000 per annum artisans by 2030 as required by the NDP.
While the NDP indicates that by 2030 the country should be producing 30 000 qualified artisans per year, this target has been brought forward by the 2014 – 2020 Medium Term Strategic Framework to 31 March 2026.
General Manager of Eskom Limpopo, Rhulani Matshidze, committed to working closer with the Capricorn TVET College and pledged that through these engagements, Eskom will for this period provide N6 experiential training and apprenticeship to learners from the college.
The entity will also assist college lecturers during holidays with technical exposure.