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Nzimande unveils scarce skills plan

Jan 13 2011 12:30 Sapa

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Johannesburg - An economy "constrained by a severe lack of skills" was behind the launch of the third national skills development strategy, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said on Thursday.

While the first and second strategies had achieved much since the inception of the Skills Development Act of 1998, a severe lack of skills was constraining the economy, he said in a speech prepared for delivery.

The new strategy was aimed at improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the country's skills development system.

"This strategy represents an explicit commitment to encouraging the linking of skills development to career paths, career development and promoting sustainable employment and in-work progression," he said.

"The emphasis is particularly on those who do not have relevant technical skills or adequate reading, writing and numeracy skills to enable them to access employment."

The strategy promotes partnerships between employers, public education institutions such as Further Education and Trainig (FET) colleges, universities of technologies and universities, private training providers and Sector Education and Training Authorities (Setas).

He said the plan will also addresses the scope and mandate of Setas.

"Setas are expected to facilitate the delivery of sector-specific skills interventions that help achieve the goals of NSDS III (third national skills development strategy), address employer demand and deliver results," he said.

The plan would also result in the formation of an "institutional mechanism" to provide credible information and analysis on the supply of and demand for skills.

"South Africa faces a shortage of intermediate skills, especially artisanal skills. The intention is to ensure that 10 000 artisans per year qualify with relevant skills and find employment," he said.

He said the skills strategy would aim to achieve a growth in FET Colleges and address the low level of youth and adult language and numeracy skills.

education  |  fet  |  skills shortage  |  blade nzimande
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