Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana says skills development is a key component to realise government's mission of halving poverty and unemployment by 2014.
This because through the Skills Development Act (SDA) over the past five years, millions of people have been receiving skills in various sectors.
"Many of these people have been the workers who keep our economy running in all the platinum and other mines, offices, shops, farms and factories," said the minister.
Mr Mdladlana was addressing more than 700 delegates yesterday from civil society, business and government, currently attending the North West Growth and Development Summit.
He said the implementation of the SDA had helped many people increase productivity and competitiveness in their workplaces while contributing to the economy.
"The training has also improved those people's employment security and livelihood," said Mr Mdladlana.
Mr Mdladlana said skills acquired by these people could also help them venture into good job opportunities and participate in social development projects aimed at improving their communities.
He said he hoped the summit would seek resolutions on developing skills development programmes especially in the private sector and key economic industries of the province to increase productivity.
He urged all stakeholders to introduce learnership programmes in their companies in a quest to help youth acquire necessary skills required in the labour market.