This Is How TVET Colleges Plan To Address Skills Challenges


More young people must consider enrolling in vocational training programmes at public colleges in South Africa to achieve the goals set out in the National Development Plan. The higher education department will also look to ensure individuals have relevant opportunities after completing their training.



The NDP has set an ambitious target of producing 30,000 artisans annually by 2030. To make this happen, the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector needs to expand and improve significantly.

Currently, the sector is producing around 20,000 artisans annually. One of the strategies to increase the number of artisans being produced is increasing the capacity of TVET colleges and ensuring they become the preferred institutions for learners leaving school.

The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) has already launched various programs to promote artisanal training as a viable career option for young people.

One notable initiative is the Decade of the Artisan campaign, which was launched in 2014. The long-term goal of this campaign is to encourage more youth to pursue artisan training courses.

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said the campaign is critical in increasing the number of qualified artisans produced in the country to provide the skills needed in the South African economy.

The minister believes that 60% of individuals who leave school must pursue artisanal-type training to meet the country’s demand for scarce skills.

In the 2020/21 financial year, 12,613 national trade certificates were issued to learners who the government's Special Infrastructure Projects (SIPs) scarce skills program.

Participants included automotive mechanics, electrician, plumber, diesel mechanics, boilermakers, millwrights and welders.

Increasing the number of trade test centres has helped ensure their capacity to certify that learners who complete programmes are competent in their respective fields.

The minister explained that in 2009, there was only one trade test centre which presented a huge obstacle to producing qualified artisans. Today, there are 33 trade test centres in the country.

These trade test centres have trade tested over 600 artisans of which over 500 have qualified as artisans.

The department wants to ensure learners enrolled in programmes receive opportunities and receive workplace training to gain valuable experience

Their targets include ensuring their are more than 100,000 workplace-based learning (WBL) opportunities, enrolling 149,000 learners in skills development programs, and ensuring 21,000 learners pass artisanal trade tests. Additionally, they want 32,550 learners to complete learnerships and 6,450 learners to finish internships.

The department believes that by prioritising vocational training and providing ample opportunities for learners, they can assist in meeting the demands of its economy and ensure a skilled workforce for the future.


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Higher Education Minister

There are more than 50 TVET colleges with over 200 campuses located across South Africa. Government wants to increase enrolment at these institutions and has outlined plans for expansion.




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