The skills challenge is not an issue unique to South Africa but rather a worldwide phenomenon. The challenge affects a number of sectors. As a result it requires a holistic response to find lasting solutions both in South Africa and internationally.
Capricorn TVET College in conjunction with the British Council recently hosted a skills and employability conference. With the theme “Skills and employability: Co-creating quality and excellence in skills provision”, the conference was held at the College’s central office in Polokwane, Limpopo Province.
The conference was aimed at bringing together stakeholders representing different sectors in order to tackle the skills and employability gap in South Africa. More than 150 delegates representing the business sector, NGO’s, SETAs, government departments and public TVET colleges attended the event.
Discussions focussed upon common issues facing the youth in the Province and the country at large. Skills and employability is 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.
The programme facilitates international links, encourages strategic partnerships as well as promoting policy level dialogues. In its efforts to strengthen international relationships, the British Council established International Skills Partnerships (ISPs) between United Kingdom Further Education Colleges and South African Technical and Vocational Education and Training 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” said Ms Rumbidzai Mapani, British Council project manager.
Swiss-South African Cooperation Initiative (SSACI) CEO Mr Ken Duncan intimated that “Real workplace experience is essential to college students because there are important differences between the world of the training institution and the world of real work for which students are supposedly being prepared”.
Ms Tshifhiwa Modiba, deputy chairperson of council at Capricorn TVET College, said “TVET Colleges should be marketed as institutions of first choice leading to attractive career options for the majority of learners in our country”.