SA to tackle skills shortages


Naledi Pandor, the minister of education, says the workplace can be used as a way to speed up the provision of skills for the country. She made this announcement when visiting Further Education and Training colleges in the Western Cape, according to reports by SABC News.

South Africa has a chronic shortage of essential skills. Analysts say that by 2009, South Africa will be unable to fill jobs, especially in the IT sector, unless it urgently addresses the problem.

Government has allocated R1.9 billion for the recapitalisation of further education and training colleges, to advance it's skills development agenda.

The minister was visiting on-site to see how these grants were being utilised.

Her department has introduced a new curriculum to help modernise the courses offered in the colleges, with learners now receiving practical and theoretical training in an attempt to help alleviate the country's skills shortage.

She was told that although the intake of learners has increased dramatically, there has been a general reticence by girls to take on the challenges of traditionally male-dominated sectors, such as construction.

The minister expressed her satifaction at the steps taken: "I'm pleased with the progress. We did commission a task team that went around the country and I'm now visiting some of these colleges to see for myself."