Providing relevant skills a national priority: Ramaphosa

Government had prioritised the expansion and development of technical and vocational education and training (TVET ) colleges as "a cornerstone of the national effort to meet South Africa’s human resources needs"‚ Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa told the National Assembly on Wednesday.
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“Providing our people with skills that are relevant and meaningful is a national priority. This we do to enable them to find employment and expand their opportunities.”

Ramaphosa was answering a Parliamentary question on measures taken to ensure and maintain a strong relationship between the technical and vocational education and training colleges and industry.

“There is a strong link between the quality of teaching in TVET colleges and the development of skills suitable for the demands of the job market. Many of our universities are developing qualifications for TVET lecturers.

“The Department of Higher Education and Training is focusing more on improving performance management and professional development of TVET lecturers. To ensure lecturers are kept abreast with latest trends in industry‚ a project has been launched through the Education‚ Training and Development Practices SETA to place lecturers in industry.”

He said the project had been initiated in five TVET colleges and was expanding on an annual basis. The Department of Higher Education and Training had also been running a campaign to encourage the recruitment by industry of TVET college graduates.

“Students are assisted to obtain internships through Work Integrated Learning‚ which is done in collaboration with a number of SETAs. To align the work of TVET colleges with the needs of industry more directly - and to ensure that industry expertise and resources are being used in colleges - the Human Resource Development Council is piloting a TVET adoption programme.

“This programme encourages companies and industry bodies to form adoption partnerships with TVET colleges to assist colleges to improve their training programmes. These adoption partnerships will assist in addressing challenges of poor administration‚ management‚ governance and infrastructure‚” Ramaphosa said.

“We expect that companies that adopt TVET colleges in areas near their operations will provide students with practical learning opportunities. They will also help to develop teaching-learning material and build the institutional management capacity of TVET colleges.

“These colleges will then have a greater chance of producing graduates that have the relevant skills that the labour market will be able to absorb. We call on companies across all sectors of the economy to see TVET colleges as a source of well-trained graduates. TVET colleges are the institutions that will produce the employees of tomorrow.

“They are critical to the growth of businesses and the further development of key sectors of the economy. It is essential therefore that we work together - government‚ business and other stakeholders - to improve the scale‚ quality and relevance of our TVET college system‚” he said.

RDM News Wire.
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