Minister Nzimande makes call to make every South African workplace a training space at National Artisan Development Conference
4 Jul 2012
The idea that trades and other vocational programmes are only for those who cannot get into university is not only outdated, but also has a detrimental effect on South Africa’s ability to develop the skills required by our labour market.
Minister for Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande, said this in his keynote address on the first day of the two day National Artisan Development Conference hosted by his department at the Eskom Academy of Learning in Midrand today.
Under the theme, "7 Steps to becoming a qualified artisan" , the purpose of the conference is to establish a formal, national platform, led by Minister Nzimande, to review the state of artisan development in South Africa on an annual basis, while also allowing for a discussion and consultative process to improve the National Programme for Artisan Development.
"We have to be ambassadors for technical and vocational training, and make it fashionable as this is how we will develop the critical skills that our country needs. This conference needs to find ways for the country to get to a point of artisan career bias, and at the same time a way to help qualified artisans who are stuck in jobs with no apparent prospects of advancement to access options for further career progression," Minister Nzimande said.
Out of the conference, Dr Nzimande expects to get the process of improving the status and profile of an artisan as an inspirational career pathway for particularly the youth developed and agreed to by stakeholders.
"I would particularly like to draw your attention to the millions of young South Africans, mainly under the age of 25, who, for one reason or another, dropped out of school. It is incumbent upon us to try to get these young people, who are neither in employment, in education nor training, youngsters that we commonly refer to as "NEETs", into bridging programmes that can get them qualified with this basic fundamental engineering theory,” said the minister.
The conference is an opportunity for delegates to re-introduce and re-emphasise the basic steps of becoming an artisan and how these steps can be effectively and efficiently implemented, which is an exercise that is critical within an environment where government has invested in infrastructure development.
In keeping with the theme of "7 steps to becoming an artisan", the 2-day conference will further deliberate on trade career management, fundamental theory, learner programme registration, knowledge and practical component, workplace component, testing as well as quality assurance and certification.
Issued by: Department of Higher Education and Training
4 Jul 2012
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