Nzimande unveils scarce skills plan

2011-01-13 12:30

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.

  • Erik Vermeulen - 2011-01-13 12:44

    'm sorry to say but it's not a lack of skills that causes economic problems and unemployement. It's a lack of willingness to learn skills and apply them that's causing the current issues in South Africa. Everyone has access to skills development programmes and education - very few make use of the opportunities and even fewer apply the skills. Hardly anyone I come across in those situations make any effort to improve themselves. They're lazy and feel entitled!!

  • MJ - 2011-01-13 13:31

    How can he say the emphasis is on reading, writing and numeracy skills - when the article is about scarce skills. That should have nothing to do with Setas and all about primary schools

  • Mike - 2011-01-13 13:31

    Many people in the townships and out of town communities cannot get enough of education. Children walk 5km each way to get to school. There is a need it just needs to be filled with useful practical courses and training. Education is the only viable solution to eradicate poverty and crime.

  • Intelligent Investor - 2011-01-13 13:40

    Come on Blade what have you done for education since taking office besides buying 2 new expensive cars and 2 new mansions ? SA need more capacity at univercities, and needs to train more artisans like electricians, builders, plumbers, mechanics.

  • Werner - 2011-01-13 13:54

    I am sorry, but this is also not true. If you sort out the problems from the start then you might see some improvements later on. So if you lay a better foundations and set a higher standard in school education then the rest will sort itself out. So how do you want ti fix it? with government involvement? It smells just like Employment equity rearing its ugly racists head. Give the children a foundation and they will decide themselve what career path they want to follow. But then again the educated masses won't vote for you!

  • Mii - 2011-01-13 13:56

    I know a few artisans who cannot find employment and are forced to work for themselves - must be the fact that they have the wrong skin colour!

  • e - 2011-01-13 14:04

    Strange that no mention is made of the fact that the skills shortage is mainly to blame on Affirmative action and BEE, which forced skilled white people to leave the country in droves! But what else do you expect when the minister himself is unskilled in incompetent!

  • jb - 2011-01-13 14:13

    correct,and the crime is not helping, people dont immigrate, they flee.......

  • Tasleem - 2011-01-13 14:14

    The Setas are waste of time. A person cannot be trained in a certain discipline or skill within 6 months, nor a year. Bring back the old apprenticeship system, where an individual is contracted with a business who specializes in a certain field to learn a skill within minimum 3 to 4 years. The quality of artisans produced by the Skills developing systems are poor and inferior in comparison to the artisans trained in the apprentice systems. Get the training system right and the skills shortage will decrease and a better quality of artisans will be produced.

  • Jon - 2011-01-13 14:15

    *overstated, not overestimated.

  • gcr - 2011-01-13 14:15

    I wonder if the Fin24 moderators will let this comment through "So whose the liar now Blade or Jimmy Manyi" dear Jimmy has been saying for years we have the necessary people with skills in the black community to satisfy all job opportunities - one of these esteemed learned people has to be lying

  • Joe - 2011-01-13 14:17

    And I dare ask, where are all the skills that build nuclear bombs, did ground-breaking heart surgery, designed and build attack aircraft, build and launched satellites, did many successful brain surgeries, built the BEST infrastructure on the whole continent, did amazing scientific feats, created a schooling system that was one of the best in the world, had a military that far out-performed anything on the continent and most in the world, and so on and so forth? What happened to that long acquired skills, I ask? (PS I know the answer: they EMIGRATED in the Great Brain Drain of the New! Improved! South Africa!) The effects of BEE and Affirmative Action is shining through brighter than the Sun right about now. Those skills can't be taught in one generation, unfortunately. It's going to be a long road to cognitive attainments for South Africa, if at all!

  • Brasco - 2011-01-13 14:23

    Since when are "adequate reading, writing and numeracy" scarce skills? With a failing education system and iflexible labour laws, it's hardly a surprise that half the population is unemployed.

  • ARI - 2011-01-13 14:29

    SO MANY PLANS, SO FEW RESULTS.....................................................

  • Tom - 2011-01-13 14:36

    Yip because half of us cannot get jobs because you we are the wrong skin colour. The generation since 1994 are now 17 years old this BEE rubbish needs to stop, both parties have now had an equal chance so give them an equal chance.

  • the one - 2011-01-13 14:36

    this is one step forward, and we commend the minister for this plan however we would also like to say FET colleges need to be empowered with more resources so that they can increase their ouput capacity and make the learning process easy as far as the practical work is concerned

  • Benchsitter - 2011-01-13 15:31

    We will make a plan and such things. We will establish committees to monitor the plan and such things. The strategy will bring the role players together and such things. So what is the plan then? To make a plan I take it.

  • Luq - 2011-01-13 15:35

    I would like to see the stats showing the amount of technical and skilled persons(i.e.engineers, technicians etc) actually finding jobs in this country once they graduate.

  • Snoopy - 2011-01-13 15:54

    Unfortunately the Artisans in this country don't get enough recognition, that's why people are reluctant to study in this field.

  • Horst - 2011-01-13 16:44

    Great! Here we are, another PLAN. Would be interesting to hear how many plans this government has made since 1994 and what would be even more interesting is to hear how many of those plans actually achieved any positive results.

  • neil - 2011-01-13 17:07

    I have two sons working in the middle east. Do you think they want to come back to AA and BEEEEEEEEE? SA has lost thousands like them

  • Realist - 2011-01-13 18:08

    There may well be a lack of skills but the ANC has created the legislation to put off employers from recruiting more staff. THERE IS A DISTINCT LACK OF JOBS AVAILABLE IN SA. YOU DON"T NEED SKILLS WHEN THERE IS NO WORK. The ANC thinks it can create jobs. Its performance in this area is PATHETIC! TRAINING FOR TRAININGS SAKE WILL GET YOU NOWHERE YOU NEED THE EMPLOYERS TO EMPLOY BODIES TO MAKE A DENT IN THE UNEMPLOYMENT. The ANC Cadres could organise a "piss up in a brewery" but that is their limitation.

  • Concerned - 2011-01-14 15:15

    It appears as if there is a notion out there that old white South Africans are marginalised, you will be surprised that, the same is happening to old Black South Africans.As for BEE, the control cannot be removed until South Africa is a 1st World Country, we won't be a Ist World country by allowing unloyal shareholders to open businesses here, then relocate the business to London or some Western world to benefit, wake up people. What Blade is doing is the way to go if we want to up our economic understanding we must be able to read and learn new things. Currently, 70% of the nation runs away at the sight of a book, our secretaries do not even have a matric. In the rest of the world besides Africa we come across secretaries and other lower people who have varsity degrees thus their level of economic understanding is high and they are able to transform to entreprenuers quickly and create jobs. I support Comrade Blade, get us to read and love knowledge to beat mediocrity.

  • Johnathan - 2011-01-20 15:16

    "Unloyal shareholders"??? What on earth are you on about? Mike, my (white) grandfather could ride a donkey cart to school on the days that he was lucky, on the other days he had to walk more than 5km (often without any food in his stomach) to a little farm school with two rooms and two teachers and almost everyone from 5-year olds to matrics in the same class. He still managed to learn enough to be able to get a doctorate in later life. It's not because township children have to walk to school or that the schools don't have "resources" that they don't learn, it's because their teachers (and their parents and they themselves) are useless and lazy in many (most) cases!

  • Andy - 2011-02-18 08:24

    Blade Nzimande. ONE BIG CIRCUS, TOO MANY CLOWNs, NO RINGMASTER. Chief clowns being in positions of authority with no skills or education themselves.

  • Buhle - 2011-02-27 11:58

    Jb posted his/comment on the 13 Jan 2011,time 14:??...he/she has said it all,and is this gorvment is doing or always planning never had any positive outcomes...i think each dept must have internships in the field of engineering as much as they do in the HR...its even worse that our own govermnet doesnt take as an inservice trainning if u wer hands on within its depterments,SETAs are such a wast of time,BEE is even worse...i have N6 in Electrical Engineering,i tried several years to be part/trainned by these SETAs No Luck...and now iam a Cleaner @ St Elizabeth Hospital in the EC (thank god i didn't give up and resorted in crime)but my career is vannishing in front of my eyes,i will never vote again...lets go back to 1975 @list we knew that we r not free and we will never be artisans or enginners other than living this lie we r living

  • Joseph - 2012-04-24 18:20

    My understanding is that it does not matter how many people can be trained to acquire skills that the minister is talking about, job opprtunities aren't there. There are thousands of graduates/technicians in all disciplines who cannot find jobs ion this country. Now, where will this lot that the minister is talking about would get the jobs from? Is this an early election campaign?

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