The current rate of unemployment in South Africa is 27% and 50% of this is attributed to youth unemployment. It is imperative that young people are equipped to meet the needs of the labour market, either by empowering them to create employment as entrepreneurs or by creating a clear path to gainful employment. The Skills for Employability programme in South Africa establishes International Skills partnerships between Further Education colleges in the United Kingdom and Technical and Vocational Education and Training colleges in South Africa. This, amongst other ambitions, aims to enhance the employability skills of learners. These partnerships also support the development of strong links with industry to ensure that the TVET provision adequately responds to employer needs.
An International Skills partnership we established and supported in 2015/16 between New College Stamford (UK), Grantham College (UK) and Maluti TVET (SA), developed a Work-readiness and Enterprise Skills training programme. The training programme supported students in all three organisations towards either gaining employment or the confidence and skills to start their own business.
“I am able to understand my own skills and qualities related to those needed in the workplace.” Student
Through this partnership collaboration, three members of staff from Maluti College, two from New College Stamford and one from Grantham College were trained and certified as facilitators to deliver the programme and to train other facilitators. As a pilot, 60 exit level Engineering students from Maluti College were trained and certified through ABC Awards in the UK. Of these 60 who took part, over a third have already confirmed their transition to industry . The programme has now been rolled out college-wide at Maluti and is also being adopted by another South African college, Flavius Mareka. The success of the programme has resulted in British Council supporting another international skills partnership between Canterbury College (UK), Maluti College and Flavius Mareka College that will see an Enterprise Challenge between 345 learners from Maluti and Flavius Mareka, recruited from the learners that are currently going through the work-readiness and enterprise training.
“It’s good to see colleges listening to industry. The students that I employed have all had a good work ethic.” Jannie Germishuys, employer and Director Bergville Engineering, South Africa