In 2016 the South African government identified 13 priority trade professions that the country was in need of. Namely bricklayer, electrician, millwright, boilermaker, plumber, mechanic carpenter and joiner, welder, rigger, fitter and turner, mechanical fitter and pipe fitter.
In light of that, late last week the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Naledi Pandor, opened the Centre of Specialisation for mechanical fitters and riggers at the False Bay technical and vocational education and training (TVET) college.
According to Engineering News, this TVET college brings the number of institutions opened in the Eastern Cape to six, of which they specialise in eight of the 13 trades identified by government.
“We plan to improve quality and create diverse entry points to other institutions in post school education and training. The efforts directed at creating college and employer links are intended to ease the acquisition of work based skills for young trainees,” said Pandor.
According to the publication, the Minister added that the centres of specialisation were important for a number of reasons such as training artisans for trades that are in demand, placing colleges in better partnership with employers, building better apprenticeship systems and laying the foundation for college differentiation.
Pandor further notes that the centre of specialisation programme is pioneering the way in which to transform the TVET college system and that the transformation means making colleges more relevant and responsive to industry labour demand needs, while lifting their capacity to deliver the best occupational programmes.
“The aim is to offer young people a range of educational and training alternatives, including universities. The idea is to create a route to better skills and technical qualifications. The collaboration breaks down the barriers between education institutions and industry and helps new employers to support the apprenticeship system,” concluded Pandor.