College representatives met at a provincial skills and employability conference on Friday to find ways to create jobs. One of the aims of the conference was to promote dialogue around effective approaches for bridging the skills gap in Mzansi.
The conference was held at the VW People’s Pavilion in Uitenhage. Principals from various colleges discussed ways to ensure they don’t produce students who will join the ranks of the unemployed. The whole day conference was supported by the British Council, the premier’s office and the department of higher education and training.
Rumbidzai Mapani from the British Council said: “Part of our work in education is to help build the skills of young people so that they are able to work and compete in today’s globalized world.” She said so far they had established 15 international skills partnerships and had also arranged exchanges between principals in the UK and Mzansi. “We believe that collaboration adds value to the achievement of any objective”, said Mapani.
It was noted at the conference that 1.5 million young people were unemployed while 11 million have no matric. Luvuyo Mgubelanga, provincial chairman of the South African College Principals Organization, said: “It’s a waste of state resources to train students because after training them, they join the ranks of the unemployed. “The whole education setup in Mzansi is very problematic. “We have to make sure policymakers are also part of these efforts and we do not just moan among ourselves while our problems are not taken to a higher level.”
Ingrid Daniel from the office of the premier said all the key points in breakaway sessions would be taken to parliament as the curriculum needed to be updated.
On 11 November, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges in the Eastern Cape, in partnership with the British Council and the Office of the Premier, will host a Skills and Employability Conference at the Volkswagen People Pavilion in Uitenhage. This one-day programme will include a panel discussion on how the different sectors are contributing to the creation of quality and excellence in skills provision. There will be a breakaway session where delegates will respond to topics around skills development.
The Skills and Employability Conference aims to:
Promote dialogue on effective approaches to bridging the skills gap in South Africa.
Map the role that key stakeholders like Industry, Sector Education & Training Authorities (SETA’s), Educational Institutions, Government, National & International development agencies can play in addressing skills gaps.
Share and learn best practices on how the sector organisations can work together to address the skills challenge.
Speakers at the conference will include Mr Glen McMahon, International Project Manager, Belfast Met College, Northern Ireland, Ms. Meike Wetsch, Programme Manager: Coega Human Capital Solutions, Mr Jean September, Deputy Country Director of the British Council (Cape Town Office)of the British Council, Mr Hein Luiters, Acting General Manager of the Office of the Premier, Ms Nombulelo Nxesi, CEO of ETDP SETA, Ms Kim Smallie, Learning and Development Specialist and Mr Luvuyo Ngubelanga, Chairperson of Principals Forum of TVET Colleges in the Eastern Cape.
The Provincial Conference co-ordinator, Ms Elmari van de Merwe said: “The Skills and Employability Conference is an opportunity for all stakeholders in the Eastern Cape, who have influence in skills development, to come together, look at the challenges the province is facing in enhancing quality and excellence in skills provision and come up with collaborative solutions that will bridge these gaps”.
About the partners:
The British Council creates international opportunities for the people in the United Kingdom and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide. It is a Royal Charter charity, established as the UK’s international organization for educational opportunities and cultural relations. It has years of experience and has become a body of knowledge through numerous engagements with Government, industry and education at various levels.
The Office of the Premier’s mission is to ensure responsive, integrated and sustainable service delivery to all in the Eastern Cape through strategic leadership, critical interventions and co-ordinate effective provincial government.
TVET Colleges are known for their passion in transforming, not only the lives of their students, but communities in the Eastern Cape as well. TVET’s have international links with the United Kingdom and locally. They work with leaders in industry to transform the education system of South Africa into a world class provision.
Conference commission recommendations will be tabled for further discussions at a TVET SETA Provincial Skills Development Forum (PSDF) and will also assist the Human Resource Development (HRD) Forum.
Statement issued by Provincial Conference co-ordinator and Assistant Director Marketing & Communication of Eastcape Midlands TVET College: Elmari van de Merwe