Deputy President David Mabuza has called on more business leaders to make it their business to adequately skill young people at educational institutions and at the work place through internships.
Speaking at the Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) Summit in Kempton Park on Thursday, the Deputy President applauded South African companies who are partnering with education institutions to ensure that graduates are better prepared for the demands of the economy.
“We applaud those companies that are supporting our initiative of Adopt-a-TVET College and ensuring that our curricula matches the needs of industry.
“A number of South African business leaders and their companies are also actively involved in adopting some of our schools and investing in the training of our teachers in critical subjects like Maths and Science,” he said.
Greater collaboration is required between social partners to inform learners and expose them early about the various career options available and those careers that are set to be in demand for many years in the future.
“Over the years, a combination of the sub-optimal performance of our education system and other socio-economic determinants of poverty have produced a large proportion of unemployed youth.
“This is the challenge that must be confronted directly.
“This summit must inspire hope and confidence in the millions of young people who are not in education and training that we are a country that never gives up on their dreams and potential,” said the Deputy President.
He said the social compact between government, business, labour and community must speedily create employment and training opportunities for the millions of young people who are not in education, not in training, and not in employment.
“It must inspire our nation that as social partners, we are equal to the task of creating an inclusive society that prioritises the development of its youth and women.
“Our children at our institutions of higher education, must have the confidence that they will not complete their training only to roam the streets for years before they can get employed or start their own enterprises.
“It is only through collaboration and by agreeing on a social compact for skills and jobs that we can reverse the tide of unemployment and the deepening poverty,” he said.
The theme for the HRDC Summit, “Partnerships that will revitalise work and learning for the 21st Century”, is appropriate, he said, adding that it was a partnership that calls on all society to play its part in creating training, employment, and business development opportunities.
“Only an engaged, invested, and patriotic private sector has the key to unlock the full potential of the education and training sector.
“When the education sector and industry work together, we have a better chance of accelerating skills development and enhancing the employment opportunities of those that have undergone training.
“When the private sector understands that with all the training students can get, there is still no better place for refining training and acquiring experience than the work place itself,” said the Deputy President.
The summit theme on partnerships is also a clarion call on everyone in the public service to see their work as agents of change, entrusted with the responsibility to rebuild the nation by rendering ethical and quality services to the people at all times.
“It demands that all South Africans must be driven by the new consciousness of restoring the dignity of our people by empowering them with skills and affording them a chance to work for themselves and their families.
“It means we must all put shoulder to wheel to “realise a developmental, capable and ethical state that treats citizens with dignity” as envisaged in the National Development Plan,” said Deputy President Mabuza. – SAnews.gov.za