The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) hosted the 3rd Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Imbizo at the Lakes Hotel and Conference Centre in Benoni on 3 - 5 October 2017.
This event was attended by senior representatives of all 50 public TVET Colleges, as well as senior officials of the DHET and representatives of industry and Labour. Hosted by Minister BE Nzimande, the Minister of Higher Education and Training, the opening ceremony of the Imbizo included an awards ceremony whereby TVET Colleges were acknowledged for excellence in delivery across a number of categories.
The College of Cape Town received two very prestigious and highly acclaimed awards at the Opening Ceremony, namely the Minister’s Awards for the Most Innovative College in the area of ICT Technology, and The Most Innovatively Governed and Managed College.
College Principal, Mr Louis van Niekerk, also received a Heads of Trainers Certificate for his role in heading a team of trainers on the Professional Development of Campus Managers Project. Further to these awards of excellence, the College of Cape Town was awarded Centre of Specialisation status for Automotive Motor Mechanics and Plumbing. These awards were made in conjunction and based on consultation with the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI) and Institute of Plumbing South Africa (IOPSA) and respectively.
During his address at the opening ceremony, Minister Nzimande emphasised the appropriateness of the theme for this year’s event - “defining a shared vision, removing obstacles and charting a roadmap to our destination”.
Minister Nzimande indicated that the Imbizo can be considered as a necessary, perhaps even critical pause in the endeavours of the DHET to deliver an effective and efficient TVET system through the White Paper on Post School Education and Training Implementation Plan, as well as the review of the National Skills Development Strategy 3. “This will allow us to craft an integrated approach towards achieving a common vision for the TVET Sector,” he said.
Minister Nzimande also stressed that the roadmap to the DHET’s desired vision should not be an isolated or independent process, but an integral part of all the initiatives currently under way, as well as those that are still being planned. He noted that “TVET colleges are vital national assets which empower the next generations with very practical skills and knowledge. They make a crucial contribution to the ability of our economy to be competitive.”
Highlighting the critical importance of industry partnerships with the TVET sector, Minister Nzimande urged employers, be they public or private, to ramp up their partnership with the DHET and TVET colleges to re-build a strong and vibrant TVET System. “This is something which we must do together if you are to get the skills you need, and we are to assist students to acquire the skills needed by the economy,” he concluded.
Upon receiving the awards, Mr Louis van Niekerk, Principal of the College of Cape Town, thanked the Council of the College of Cape Town, all industry partners with whom the College have developed strong relationships over the past years, and especially the College staff for their commitment, dedication and passion to the students of the College. “It is only because of the continuous efforts of our staff that we, as College of Cape Town, are able to achieve the success that we have been acknowledged for here this evening.
Partnerships with industry ensures that our curriculum delivery meets the skills requirements of employers, and their investment of time and resources in our training environments ensure that we are always able to provide training using the latest technology. The passion of our staff to ensure that their own subject knowledge remains current, and the support of each and every staff member ensures that our students are well prepared for the workplace, equipped with the necessary skills to meet the needs of modern industry and to be placed in industry upon graduation,” he said.
“These awards inspire us to continue innovating to ensure that we can support government’s National Development Plan 2030. The Centre of Specialisation Awards further forms a guarantee to serve all members of the RMI and IOPSA as well as our students.”