Science

Entrepreneurship hubs established for TVET colleges students

The Higher Education, Science and Innovation Ministry has established entrepreneurship hubs at TVET colleges to support students to move into self-employment after completion of programmes.

Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister, Blade Nzimande, revealed this in Parliament on Thursday while delivering the department’s 2022 Budget Vote.

In the current financial year, the Minister said the department projected that the skills levy would increase to R20.6 billion from last year’s R18.9 billion.

Nzimande said the department had also taken the decision to prioritise the sector by re-allocating additional funds from the National Skills Fund.

“We have begun a process of crafting one country, one skills plan (Master Skills Plan). This process will promote a more efficient and effective mechanism for our country-wide skills planning.

“As part of my service level agreement with the SETAs, they will incorporate government priorities – especially those that address the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality as captured in the National Development Plan – in their Sector Skills Plans.”

These would therefore develop their Annual Performance Plans (APPs) to address skills challenges in various sectors of the economy and country in general.

During the 2022/23 financial year, the Ministry will increase its work-based learning programmes from 78 317 to 107 000.

“We will also Increase our learners registered in skills development programmes from 43 885 in 2020/21 to 148 000 in 2022/23 and increase our learners entering artisanal programmes from 10 302 in 2020/21 to 22 000 in 2022/23.”

The Ministry anticipates that 20 500 learners will pass the artisan trade test in 2022/23, a 5000 increase from the last financial year.

Learners who complete learnerships will also increase from 24 136 in 2020/21 to 31 300 in this financial year while learners who complete internships would stabilise at 5 200.

The SETAs combined placed 44 619 unemployed people into learnerships, of which over 34 710 were youths below 35. Over 25 550 of these were female.

In the previous financial year, SETAs placed 9 901 interns, of which 9 096 were young people below the age of 35 years old and 6 455 were females. The SETAs spent just over R883 million in this regard.

For TVET placement, SETAs placed about 8 539 learners, with 5 656 being females at the total cost of R393 million.

For university placement, SETAs placed 5 183 learners in workplaces at the value of R300 million.

Both university and TVET college curricula are being reviewed and strengthened to be relevant to the skills required by local employers, communities and the economy.

He said: “On the other hand, 95% of SETAs are targeted to meet standards of good governance, with 100% of their allocated SETA Mandatory Grants paid to employers.”

The Minister said SETAs would process qualifying trade test applications within 40 days of receipt for trade testing and develop credible Sector Skills Plans. SETAs would in this regard produce reports on the implementation of the Skills Strategy.

“To further ensure the rapid skilling and training of our youth, particularly those in rural and townships, we are going to focus our attention to their training in areas such as agriculture and information and communication technologies,” he said.

“Our SETAs will be supporting my Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) in the development of critical high-end skills in selected technology areas such as the bioeconomy, space science, technology energy, intellectual property management.”

Source: South African Government News Agency