Finding solutions to skills challenges in SA

Ken Duncan (Swiss-South African Cooperation Initiative, CEO) addresses the audience at the Provincial Skills Conference in Polokwane.

POLOWKANE – Mapani, says these challenges are faced by quite a number of sectors, and as a result requires a holistic approach to finding a lasting solution for South Africa, and the world.

She made this statement during the Provincial Skills Conference at the Capricorn College for Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) central office, in Polokwane last Thursday.

Mapani described skills and employ-ability as a programme that was developed through collaborative discussions between the United Kingdom and South Africa as a direct response to skills challenges in both countries.

She said the programme facilitates international links, encourages strategic partnerships and promotes policy level dialogues.

“In its efforts to strengthen international relationships, the British Council established International Skills Partnerships (ISPs) between the United Kingdom Further Education Colleges and South African TVET colleges. By sharing best practice and engagement with industry, these partnerships have a chance to transform technical training institutes into effective and efficient centres that can meet critical skills shortages and respond to labour market needs.

Swiss-South African Cooperation Initiative (SSAC) CEO, Ken Duncan, said they work with government and private sectors to try to improve TVET and skills development sector in the country.

“Through our partnership we want to bring the colleges closer to cooperation within the teaching industry to ensure skills are delivered to the students,” Duncan said. “With theory only we cannot say we are doing enough at our colleges, however, we believe working with practicals can assist us in teaching the proper skills to our students,” he continued.

Duncan said the consequences of under-performing in a working environment are serious.

“Colleges should give students exposure to the real world of work for them to be employed. Skills, practical experience, understanding of work place behaviours and work place connection can play a huge role towards our students,” says David Modiba, Deputy Director, Curriculum Development and Support at the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET).


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Desmond Boshego

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