It is widely accepted that good-quality TVET is crucial to enhancing a country’s economic productivity and growth.
SSACI –( The Swiss-South African Cooperation Initiative is a non-profit, public-private partnership aimed at strengthening the national skills training system in South Africa and thereby opening pathways to skilled employment for young South Africans.) believes that there is ample common ground between business and government on which to establish a mutually satisfactory TVET system in South Africa.
Though the state is – and for the foreseeable future will likely remain – the primary custodian of SA’s national TVET system, the two most important resources for achieving quality in any TVET system – namely, opportunities for work-based learning and availability of skilled practitioners to train others – are in the hands of employers and therefore largely of the private sector. Both these resources need to be mobilised on a far greater scale than has hitherto been the case. SSACI would like to help that happen.
TVET is a developmental ‘sweet spot’ where a few focused interventions by the private sector could produce significant results, because the colleges:
• are currently the DHET’s top priority
• are set to become the largest component in the national skills training system, with enrolment increasing from about 700’000 today to 2’500’000 by 2030
• focus on scarce intermediate-level skills (i..e. artisans, trade workers, associate professionals and skilled personnel)
• are the major provider of skilled young Africans (over 80% of their enrolment)
• allow companies to ‘cherry-pick’ students as future employees
• are open to partnerships that will give participating companies influence over their curricula, thereby ensuring a future supply of relevant skills