Higher Education and Training Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande has made a call to employers to consider opening up their businesses for the placement of Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college graduates.
Youth unemployment rates in South Africa at the end of 2021 saw around 3.4 million out of 10.2 million young people aged 15 to 24 years not in employment, education or training.
It has been said that even graduates in the country have been struggling to find employment, especially after the economic challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
At a briefing on Friday, 4 March 2022 the Higher Education and Training Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande called on all employers to open their workplaces for the placement of students who are completing their studies at a Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college.
“The primary aim of these placements is to assist the transition of our young people from learning to working,” Nzimande said at the briefing on learning and training opportunities provided through Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs).
This briefing took place after a two-day engagement held by the department and SETAs on their role in fighting poverty, inequality and unemployment through skills development.
The minister also encouraged employers to give TVET college lecturers, workplace exposure, so that they can teach students on what is currently needed by the industry.
The Department of Higher Education and Training is committed to ensuring that the skills development system offers around 100 000 opportunities, including learnerships, internships and apprenticeships.
In a meeting with all 21 SETAs, Minister Nzimande urged them to prioritize the work placement of TVET College graduates, who need workplace exposure in order to complete their training and to facilitate the transition from learning to working.
Government has already spent vast amounts of money to support our youth through the TVET system, and therefore, it is important that we assist them to transition to the workplace through appropriate placement,
According to the minister there is a widespread agreement and commitment by the SETAs regarding the need to expand the participation of the youth in skills development programmes, as well as workplace-based learning opportunities.
These skills training interventions is intended to support and strengthen the District Development Model, which aims to improve the provision of services and socio-economic development in the 44 districts and 8 metros around the country.
Nzimande announced that the department has a target of 107 000 workplace-based learning opportunities and that they are also targeting 20 500 opportunities for apprentices, 22 500 for artisanal trades; 31 300 for those completing learnerships and 148 000 for learners entering into various skills development programmes, such as digital skills, crop production and plant production.
The National Skills Fund (NSF) will be re-allocating additional funds, with immediate focus on work placement of graduates in TVET N6 Hospitality and Catering Services, N6 Tourism and NCV L4: Tourism learners.
The Bank SETA has also set aside R54 million for 2022/23 to reskill and upskill workers in the sector.
Nzimande also announced that SETAs will support the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) in developing the critical high-end skills in certain technology areas, this includes the bio economy, space science, technology energy, intellectual property management, among others.
“Support will also be directed towards technical development and the artisan skills that would contribute to the commercial exploitation and social beneficiation of newly developed innovations,” said Nzimande.