Special Focus South Africa: Creating innovative strategies for skills development

iMOVE enhances its cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of South Africa in Berlin in the field of TVET. As a result of the embassy’s participation in the iMOVE-Information Day Africa last year, both partners now plan a roundtable discussion. The South African delegation will be led by the Minister of Higher Education, Dr. Bonginkosi Nzimande. The event aims directly at the critical imperative of developing skills and at systemic challenges that are particularly essential for the success of South Africa’s economic programme.

Over the last fifteen years South Africa has experienced a transformation in working to rebuild a nation and to improve its ability to compete on global markets. In the course of these developments, professional working skills, expecially for technical employees have become more and more important. Their lack threatens to become the single greatest impediment to economic growth.

According to H.E. Embassador Sonwabo Eddie Funde, skills development in South Africa must be aligned to the economic and political imperatives of reducing unemployment and poverty, while fostering growth and international competitiveness. In 2004, the South African government implemented the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (ASGI-SA). The initiative’s ultimate objective is to halve unemployment and poverty by 2014. It responded to a range of constraints including skills shortage. Other skills acquisition initiatives and programmes, mainly under the auspices of the Joint Initiative on Priority Skills Acquisition (JIPSA), are being fast-tracked in South Africa.

South Africa is about to refine its vision on how skills development can contribute to sustainable economic and social development. Policy implications and strategies for effective training are outlined. The German system of vocational training is frequently referred to as an example of excellent TVET practice in this context. The influence exerted by business companies on funding on-the-job training and the regulatory framework of skills provision is seen as a major advantage to be adopted. To ensure that TVET is more market-driven, it is considered to be necessary for the South African government to involve companies in the formulation of the curricula and in the certification of training programmes.

State representatives are eager to provide a networking platform for stakeholders in order to promote skills development. A road map and as well as a framework for cooperation between South Africa and Germany in the field of vocational education and training is to be developed subsequently. iMOVE supports South Africa’s efforts in the TVET sector and is looking forward to fruitful further cooperation.
Embassador Sonwabo Eddie Funde
H.E. Embassador Sonwabo Eddie Funde

Source: iMOVE