Nzimande: Skills development vital

2012-07-04 15:57

Johannesburg - Skills development is vital in the fight against poverty and unemployment in South Africa, Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande said on Wednesday.

"Skills development is central in the objectives and goals South Africa wants to achieve as a country to fight poverty, inequality and unemployment," Nzimande said at the national artisan development conference in Midrand.

"As a country we are short of many skills and we need to turn our education system (around) to be able to respond better to the many skills that we need, and shift the bias away from focusing on university education."

Nzimande said it was important for colleges to train artisans.

"We are short of those skills in the country and we need to say to our youngsters that going to a college is not because you are dumb, or that it is second choice to university.

"There is a shortage of those skills and those are skills that are needed. Some people tend to look down upon them, but they are no less important than doctors."

Learnerships and internships were fundamental for the vital first working experience.

"That is a priority issue for our country which also requires a closer working relationship between the labour movement, the employers and the colleges."

Nzimande said every workplace was a training space.

"Unless and until employers open their workplaces for our youngsters to acquire the necessary experiences, we are not going to crack the problem of skills shortages in our country."

He said learnership programmes had been a success in other countries.

"You can appoint the best coach you want, but unless we have got a development programme from a young age, Bafana Bafana will continue to break our hearts," he quipped.

"Apprenticeships for youngsters are very important. You can't learn to trap a ball when you are 25, you learn to trap a ball at the age of 10, 11 or 12, like the Spanish."

Nzimande said the development of qualified artisans to support the economy was a government priority.

He said many strategic infrastructure projects in the country required a significant number of qualified and competent artisans.

These projects and the economic activity they stimulated would require a qualified workforce in various sectors, including manufacturing, construction, operations and maintenance.

"Unless we accelerate the training of artisans, their numbers will fall short of the demands of the industry, and therefore adversely affect both production and job creation," Nzimande told the conference.

"The impact will be felt in inadequate and continued skewed economic growth in our country, and government's reduced ability to provide basic and other services to our people."

  • deon.louw.7505 - 2012-07-04 16:35

    Schoolbooks arriving on time is also vital.

      christelle.james.7 - 2012-07-04 16:52

      Yip Deon, and apparently the only party realising that is the DA. ANC does not seem to worry to much about the uneducated in Limpopo. But that is really how they stay in power, is it not?

  • Keenan Demas - 2012-07-04 16:58

    there needs to be an independent organisation to oversee the developement of apprenticeship and learnership programmes.companies dont have any structure as to how apprentices/learners progress in terms of when they supposed to work and when they need to attend a training institution.not to mention the fact that there are people busy with apprenticeships for the last 2-4 years who are not even registered with their relevant Seta's.and that is the biggest problem because what happens is,all the institutionalised training can be completed,but without being registered with a Seta,qualifications cannot be attained.and that,in my opinion,is why prospective artisans are few and far between

  • colin.dovey - 2012-07-04 17:23

    When did YOU wake up Blade? You are not a very sharp "Blade" - this sort of program should be at the heart and soul of the Skills Education program. Not everybody is a candidate for University, and we NEED Artisans fact it is almost too late...they started working on this in Singapore in 1995, and it is now WORKING!!!

      alf.pop - 2012-07-04 20:33

      Everything is a bit blurred around blade, and it is not due to petrol fumes!

  • thenga.pfananani - 2012-07-04 17:41

    This is the right direction that this country needs to follow, even though it takes you a long time to realise it, so, thumbs up Dr nzimy!

  • khoza.mthokozisi - 2012-07-04 18:19

    Yes, Mr Nzimande you are right things need to change. But I strongly feel the change need to start with basic education, change the whole education system! Equip these kids with usable skills, lets do like Asians. To me having matric is useless, because you don't have any skills. Infact its useless!!!!

  • Johan De Beer - 2012-07-05 19:25

    So change it then! Or are you going to place that responsibility on the private sector again?

      alansmartSnr - 2012-07-13 23:38

      Blade Nzimande.. Double talk or are you like a snake with a forked tongue. ..Where were you when Cosatu blocked the Youth Subsidy project and Zille requested the Western Cape share of the Billions which were budgeted for so she could start creating qualified artisins. .. Why did you guys close the "Oupa's technical artisans school" at Westlake which were putting out 12,000 qualified technichians and artisans per year, even if they were "in their over 25s" or even if they only had grade 6. Our honourable Pres only just past grade 5 (giggle). Put your money where your mouth is, stop just talking and do at least one good thing in your term of office. To me, you remind me of Malema who in his final exam for grade 8 built a table with 5 legs and Which leaned over at 60 degrees. What an idiot you are turning out to be

  • Teboho Makoko - 2013-08-30 14:45


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