In South Africa’s drive to create economic opportunities for our youth and unemployed individuals, it is vital to acknowledge and promote the role of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges. With August named ‘TVET Month’, the Chemical Industries Education and Training Authority (CHIETA) is proud to announce two TVET initiatives that are set to stimulate SMME activity and economic opportunities for individuals in the Western and Northern Cape provinces.
“TVET colleges are instrumental in providing development opportunities for our youth and opening doors for employment,” comments CHIETA CEO Yershen Pillay. “Together with SETAs, TVET colleges offer experiential learning opportunities to which help learners develop practical skills for a wide variety of jobs.” TVET colleges work with key industry role players to ensure that their courses are responsive to labour market needs, meaning that graduates of these colleges are well-positioned to find employment. “Being largely subsidised and supported by government, SETAs and industry role players, TVET colleges offer an affordable education to young people; especially those from previously disadvantaged communities who live in rural areas,” comments Pillay.
The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) launched August as TVET Month in 2014 and uses the annual event to introduce and encourage high school learners and those not in education, employment, or training (NEET) to enrol in vocational education and training and take up careers available in TVET colleges.
Stimulating opportunities for growth CHIETA is launching two exciting initiatives in September 2021 in collaboration with two local colleges. “TVET colleges are a vital part of our education and training ecosystem, and these two programmes are important contributions to our mandate at CHIETA,” says Pillay.
In the Western Cape, CHIETA is hosting a small business incubator programme at False Bay TVET College, where 20 participants will join an Entrepreneurship Business Skills Development Programme which runs for 12 months through the college’s Centre for Entrepreneurship & Rapid Incubator (CfERI). “The impact of Covid-19 has created a desperate need for emerging SMMEs, youth-owned businesses, and informal businesses in the Western Cape to revisit their current traditional business operations. The Programme will introduce these businesses to practices which are more innovative and technology-driven to sustain their current business operations as well as increase productivity and competitiveness into the future,” explains Pillay. The False Bay TVET College in partnership with CHIETA can provide a much-needed lifeline to sustain the informal trade sector to transition to more competitive business operations. The programme has been granted funding of R1-million from CHIETA.
In the Northern Cape, CHIETA is partnering with the Northern Cape Urban TVET College to conduct a Welding Skills Programme for unemployed individuals. The Programme is accredited through Mechanical Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority (MERSETA), as welding is a skill overlapping many industries. “We plan to train 80 individuals aged 18 to 35, who will be awarded with certificates for completion and a statement of results stating the unit standards covered and found to be competent on,” explains Pillay. CHIETA’s contributions will cover tuition, PPE, and stipends for the duration of the programme.
“Partnering with TVET colleges is another way in which CHIETA strives to meet our mandate of facilitating skills development in the chemical industries sector. These initiatives are set to stimulate opportunities for young South Africans which will have wider positive knock-on effects for the surrounding communities and families,” concludes Pillay.