Embracing Skills Development

Thapelo Motloung

Published by Dinoka  

Looking at developments and interventions by private entities, academic institutions, local and central government it is quite evident that focus on skills development and service delivery is receiving serious attention at the highest levels of decision making. Signals of collaboration with countries well beyond our borders on this critical issue are also emerging , despite the massive socio-economic challenges facing us.

So, what are some of these recent initiatives?

Ekurhuleni/ Engineering Sector Skills Partnership

The Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality is seeking a partnership with the engineering sector with the view to addressing the priority skills shortages in the industry. The Ekurhuleni Municipality perceives engineering as a scarce skill which needs to be fast-tracked in order to impact positively on service delivery. The Municipality believes that partnering with the engineering sector on the one hand and the Development Bank of South Africa on the other will assist them towards addressing underdevelopment and backlogs in the townships.

The Letaba Municipality Skills Drive

A skills audit conducted by the Letaba Municipality indicated that some general workers lacked skills in key areas of their jobs. Service providers have been invited to provide basic training in typing, computer, first aid, communication, house-building, plumbing, road and basic signage. According to the Municipality, the objective of the exercise is to fill the skills gap and to enhance service delivery in the Municipality.

The Tourism Industry Skills Plan

The Tourism industry’s 2008/09 Skills Sector Plan intends to outline what scarce skills are required to meet the needs of the industry. The plan has been presented to key tourism stakeholders as well as the department of labour. The industry is urged to familiarize with the document, support it and implement it .An important aspect of the document reflects on demographics and employment trends from 2004 to 2006.A proponent of the plan says that “one of the key objectives of the plan is to ensure a positive impact on social legacy through advancing the tourism competitiveness agenda to support the objective of creating jobs, growth and equality”.

The Construction Industry to Spend Millions

It is reported that the Construction Education and Training Authority (CETA) is planning to spend at least R70 million this year on education and training in the construction sector.

Of this amount, R23.2 million would be spent on on-the-job training of at least 800 unemployed learners and apprentices in specific construction trade skills, and the appointment of accredited training providers.

R8 million would be spent on training 400 already employed learners and apprentices in the sector .The same amount would be used on adult basic education training. Furthermore, CETA is seeking to identify future entrepreneurs and future business leaders by spending R13 million on tertiary education bursaries in 2008.   


Cuban Experts Assist the Building Sector

Following the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement between South Africa and Cuba a group of 51 construction experts have arrived in the country to assist the country’s skills shortage in the construction industry. The recruitment of these technical advisors is seen as a way of dealing with the crisis of lack of skilled artisans to carry out all the massive infrastructure projects. It is hoped that the arrival of the Cuban technical advisors will help to achieve quick wins in the short term and create a base of skilled professionals for the long term.

China Called To Share Expertise

The Minister of Labour has requested the Chinese government to send a delegation of experts to come and share their experiences with local professionals in areas of trade testing. The Minister cited poverty and unemployment as the biggest challenges facing the country at the moment.

Business Unusual: Education and Skills

In his State of The Nation Address, President Thabo Mbeki revealed that a mass literacy campaign, Kha Ri Gude, is to provide literacy training to 300,000 adults and youth in 2008 as a pilot project. A full scale project will be rolled-out in 2009.Master trainers will be sourced and trained to provide the basic literacy classes envisaged in the project.

The President said that an element of government’s Apex of Priorities would be the deliberate focus on matters of skills development. He also outlined the government’s intention to develop an overarching strategy to prioritise key interventions in the Further Education and Training colleges (FET), the Joint Initiative for Priority Skills Acquisition (JIPSA)and the Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAS).

The President said that JIPSA projects will be intensified this year. He also praised the private sector for their initiative of helping government to address skills shortages.

Talent Development

We can assist your company in our role as Skills Development Facilitator:

  • register your company for Skills Development purposes
  • submit a Workplace Skills Plan or Annual Training Report
  • lodge and follow up on claims for payment of levies
  • communicate any Skills Development related matters with key stakeholders such as your staff, the SARS, the SETAS and the service providers.

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