Companies urged to adopt TVET colleges

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa

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Pretoria – Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on private companies across South Africa to become part of the skills revolution by partnering with Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges.

In his opening remarks at the Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) meeting held on Friday at Ekurhuleni West College in Germiston, the Deputy President said the partnership between companies and colleges on learning programmes will ensure a supply of relevant high quality skills to respond to the economic and social need of the country.

“It will contribute to the more effective absorption of TVET college graduates into the labour market through formalised apprenticeship and learnership arrangements.

“This meeting is expected to deal with the conceptualisation of the Adopt-a-TVET College initiative, which aims to identify industry partners to work with TVET colleges to address challenges of administration, management, governance and infrastructure and to build colleges of excellence,” said Deputy President Ramaphosa.

He said by investing resources, skills, guidance and capabilities, companies will be contributing to economic development while also establishing a pipeline of the skills they themselves need.

Earlier in the day, the Deputy President, the Ministers who accompanied him and HRD Council members toured the college’s artisan training workshops ahead of the meeting, where there was a demonstration of practical training in automotive repair and maintenance as well as fitting and machinery.

One of the Fitting and Turning final year students at the college, Elmond Mokgoba, spoke to SAnews about his career path.

Mokgoba, who was about to sit in an examination after showcasing his practical work, said he has aspirations to work as a fitter at one of the biggest motor manufacturing companies.

“After my studies I would like to participate in an apprenticeship and then take it from there,” he said.

His lecturer Siphiwe Maphisa said he currently has 17 students in his N4 class, and the number fluctuates between 15 and 20 final year students per year.

“Next year they must be ready to start their apprenticeships or learnerships. They are doing seven subjects that include four vocational subjects and three fundamentals,” said Maphisa.

Students start the three-year course at N2 level.

The Deputy President said quality education and increasing skills levels are a key enabler of economic growth. He said highly skilled people create jobs, and suitably skilled people can be absorbed into employment where jobs are created.

“We have made significant progress in the last few years, particularly in expanding access at all levels of our education system.”

He said the meeting will also discuss the PhD Employability Programme, and look at how HRDC can assist with repositioning the PhD as a critical asset to the South African economy.

“Our main item for discussion today is the Revised Human Resource Development Strategy. The council is expected to discuss the revised draft strategy and approve the targets set for the period 2015 to 2020.

“We expect that this strategy will contribute to expanded access to quality education and training, delivered by effective teachers in functional institutions. It will contribute to improved learning outcomes.

“We expect the system to produce more academics and entrepreneurs, and more publications and better research,” he said.

Among other things, the meeting will discuss the unveiling of the new vision and mission for the HRD Council, the new priorities within the HRD value chain for the next five years, the partnership framework between TVET colleges and businesses as part of the HRDC’s Adopt-A-TVET College initiative, which was launched at Sasolburg in November 2014.