FET Colleges

Now known as Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges, what were previously called FET colleges provide after-school education for those who choose not to attend a traditional university. Offering courses in a wide variety of fields, TVET or FET colleges focus on providing education and training to students in marketable and practical skills to allow them to qualify to do a myriad of jobs. TVET or FET colleges offer a popular alternative to university studies for students who were not accepted to study a degree and are of great import in South Africa. The number of TVET colleges is increasing rapidly, providing students with marketable skills and the ability to do essential jobs. This is how TVET or FET colleges will change the lives of hundreds of thousands of South Africans.

The Department of Higher Education and Training hopes to increase student enrolment at Further Education and Training (FET) colleges to at least one million by 2015. This was announced by Higher Education and Training Minister, Blade Nzimande.

Higher Education and Training Minister Dr Blade Nzimande has proposed a name change for FET Colleges as one of the key targets in his new role. He wants to build a vibrant, expanded and quality college sector to improve post-schooling options and access to skills for youth.


Announcing the budget for the new Higher Education and Training Department, Minister Blade Nzimande targeted enrolments of 1 million students for FET Colleges by 2015. This is more than double current enrolment figures, and will pressurise governance and management capacity.


An FET College has been established in Clermont, cutting travelling costs and bringing access to education and training to an area that was significantly under-skilled.

The Tshwane North College's School of Hairdressing had received full programme approval for their hairdressing course from City and Guilds. Learners completing the qualification will receive an international advanced diploma in hairdressing that is accepted worldwide.

The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government has launched a unique science and engineering training institute, the Moses Kotane Institute, to improve science and technology fields in the province.

Further Education and Training colleges fail to be efficient and meaningful skills training institutions despite the fact that by March 2008, some R595 million had been spent on improving them, according to the South African Institute of Race Relations. The SAIRR survey questions the role of FET Colleges in the development of skills is highly questionable.

Prisoners at the Ekuseni Youth Correctional Centre have been urged to use the learning programmes at the centre to better themselves so they can walk out of the facility with a bright future ahead of them.

Funding changes are being drafted which will see FET College funding move from the provinces to the national education department. Education Minister Naledi Pandor announced the plans when she addressed the First Pan African TVET and FET College conference. She also hailed the changes which will allow colleges to offer courses at level 5 on the NQF.

It is only through innovative and creative approaches that South Africa will stand any chance of significantly addressing its skills backlog, says Western Cape Education MEC Cameron Dugmore. Dugmore said vocational skills shortages were being experienced around the world.

The North West Department of Education has budgeted R153 million to Further Education and Training colleges (FET), which will intensify its programme of improving skills.


False Bay College is currently looking for employers to offer intern placements for their students in the General Business Administration programme. The college has five campus around Cape Town and wants to place their students for an agreed period with employers. The initiative allows employers to have first choice on the recruitment of the best students, without having to pay recruitment fees.

Cathy Robinson fully supports the call for skills development funds to be directed to the public FET Colleges. "Many of the Colleges have raised their standards considerably with the help of the recapitalisation funding. The institutional landscape has altered unrecognisably and I am proud to be part of this growing, competent sector," Robinson tells us.

Western Cape Colleges will begin in earnest next week with the National Vocational Certificate (NVC) programmes entering their second year. The NVC offers renewed opportunity for young people to complete the equivalent of matric and acquire vital skills, which could make them almost immediately employable

Impoverished young people from Mpumalanga are being encouraged to apply for bursaries to study at the Gert Sibande Further Education and Training (FET) College this year.

Further Education and Training colleges are central to the delivery of priority skills needed in South Africa, according to the Minister of Education, Naledi Pandor.

Introducing the debate on the FET College Bill , the Minister of Education said, "The Bill is not only important for setting up a specific statutory platform for colleges

The FET College sector has been placed in the limelight as one of the possible answers to the national skills shortage

As the impact of the recent teacher?s strike on matric results is still anxiously being debated and matric students frantically try to recoup lost weeks of study in the run-up to their final examinations

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

MEC for education in the Western Cape Cameron Dugmore has stated that he is looking to start an initiative linking grass-roots literacy and numeracy courses with the FET colleges in an attempt to try and speed up the process of addressing the crucial skills shortage currently hampering our country's growth

Education Minister Naledi Pandor has announced that 22 000 students have so far registered for the new National Certificate (Vocational) at public FET Colleges. This is against a target of 27 000 that the Department has for these new programmes.

The North West Education Department is to replace the management at Taletso College?s Mafikeng campus, as it failed to register last year?s students on time

The Education Minister has announced a ground-breaking partnership with a consortium of leading players in the construction sector.

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