Plan to boost SA’s skills base

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe

The launch of the National Integrated Human Resource Development Plan is an important step forward in driving and increasing the human resource and skills development base of the country, says Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande.

The plan is expected to be unveiled by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe tomorrow during the Human Resource Development Council of South Africa’s (HRDC) first-ever summit.

The summit kicked off on Monday with an opening address by Minister Nzimande. He said some of the strategic goals to be outlined in the plan include universal access to quality foundational learning; expanded access to the post-schooling system and the creation of a capable public sector with effective and efficient planning and implementation capabilities.

This will be in addition to the production of appropriately skilled people for the economy and improved technological innovation and outcomes.

“The plan is in line with the National Development Plan’s proposals for greater investments into human capitals, as one component of creating jobs, reducing poverty and inequality,” he told the delegates representing organised labour, business, government, civil society, higher education and technical and vocational education institutions and guests from around the world.

According to Minister Nzimande, the National Integrated Human Resource Development Plan is also designed to contribute to the country’s youth employment by matching education and training efforts with the demands of the labour market.

Emphasis, he said, will be on the coordinated response of appropriate public-sector skills, including at the local government level.

The summit, being held under the theme “Unearthing South Africa’s Human Potential for Development and Growth”, is the first of its kind since the establishment of the HRDC in 2010.

The two-day summit will also discuss the HRDC’s Technical Task Teams’ research findings, identify future human resource development-related research needs and solicit commitments on the implementation of recommendations to unblock blockages in the human resource development pipeline.

“The HRDC is of significance to our country because it seeks to contribute towards addressing some of our stubborn socioeconomic problems including poverty, inequality and unemployment.

“The development of the skills and capable workforce through a comprehensive human resources development strategy is key not only to our country’s development, but to our addressing these socioeconomic challenges.”

The HRDC is a national multi-tiered stakeholder advisory body established to build the human resource development base required to ensure a prosperous and inclusive South African society and economy.

It has formed partnerships with different stakeholders, including the SA Maritime Safety Authority, the National Network on Innovation, the Public Sector Trainers Work Forum and the National Skills Authority, among others, to enable the council to pursue new resources development issues vigorously.