Why Nzimande Wants More TVET College Students

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The high rate of young people who are unemployed, not enrolled in education or training programmes is a concern for South Africa's higher education department. The department believes that skills development is key to solving this crisis.

 


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Of the 10.2 million young people in South Africa, around 37% are not in employment, education or training (NEET). The NEET rate is an important labour market indicator for young people.  

Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Blade Nzimande voiced his concern at the low rate of school learners who choose not to enter the post school education sector and fall into the NEET category.

The minister revealed that out of every 100 students who start grade one, only twelve will enrol in university. Of the 12 students who enrol in university, only six will complete a four year degree.

Nzimande said, “This clearly indicates that there are many young people who are lost through the system. We therefore need to cater for these students for us to expand our post school opportunities”.

Earlier this year while delivering his departmental budget vote, Nzimande said the government was crafting a Master Skills Plan. It is believed that this master skills plan will promote a more efficient and effective mechanism for our country-wide skills planning.

The department's Ishmael Msini believes that this master skills plan will allow the government to identify the skill needs of the country and gear education towards equipping young people with these skills. This will simultaneously lower the NEET rate.

He says the current education system is university-centric which is not suitable for all young people. The higher education department wants to increase enrolments at Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges as a possible solution in lowering the NEET rate.

“That's why there are programmes that we're having in place to make sure that we massify enrollment at our TVET colleges, we massify enrollments at our community education and training colleges because the reality is that the majority of our young people are not currently enrolled in our universities,” concluded Mnisi.

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