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Career Opportunities Out Of Government Skills Programmes

by lloyd last modified 2008-09-30 17:25

It’s that time of the year once again for thousands of South African matriculants when agony and uncertainty

Released by The Department of Labour on 16 January 2008

It’s that time of the year once again for thousands of South African matriculants when agony and uncertainty about the future replace the joys of good exam results, due to a lack of career opportunities.


This should not really be the case, considering that the government’s skills empowerment drive has over the past seven years been helping many young people shape their future through the Sector Education and Training Authorities (Setas).


The Setas, through which the Labour Department’s National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS) is coordinated, have already provided scholarships to more than 100 000 young people since the launch of NSDS 2001-5 and its currently expanded NSDS 2005-10.


Many young people continue missing out on these opportunities due to the gross lack of awareness on how to obtain information or access the learnerships.


How do you access a learnership?


The Employment Skills Development Agencies (ESDA) is a link between the learners and Setas. They help identify for learnership seekers a training service provider (company) that is currently offering training in one’s particular desired field.


There are ESDA offices in every province, and the following is a list of approved ESDA contact numbers and the Setas that they work with throughout the country:

From its inauguration the NSDS has been guided by a set of  five objectives and success indicators against which to measure achievement: developing a culture of high quality life-long learning; fostering skills development in the formal economy for productivity and employment growth; stimulating and supporting skills development in small businesses; promoting skills development for employability and sustainable livelihoods through social development initiatives and; assisting new entrants into employment.

The NSDS 2005-10 boasts trimmer Setas and stronger partnerships with private and public educational institutions.


The groundbreaking collaboration of Labour and Education Departments fast tracks skills empowerment and facilitates the Umsobomvu Youth Fund’s skills development projects for youth through the Further Education and Training Colleges (FETs).


The roping in of the FETs forms part of NSDS 2005-10 strategy’s aims to build on the efficacy and strengths of NSDS 2001-05, while widening the net to include trainees even in the remotest of areas.


This initiative, which was launched in the Eastern Cape just days before the inauguration of NSDS 2005-10 three years ago, addresses legislative imperatives of the national youth policy, the Further Education Act, which puts youth development at the core of the FET Colleges provision, as well as the National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS).


In terms of this initiative’s objectives, a total of 1 300 young people from all provinces received training in the first year. 


To date the Umsobomvu Youth Fund has committed over R25 million to the 19 FETs for the creation of skills programmes and learnerships that will help address skills shortages and unemployment.


Traditionally, the FETs - formerly known as technical colleges - are among the few institutions around the country whose proximity provides a less costly accessibility to remote communities.

Their elevation to playing a crucial role in merging education and skills training has therefore improved outreach especially in the rural areas and is bringing skills training programmes to learners from poor communities as well.


Since some of the FET Colleges participating in this programme and those that will be supported in the near future are located in rural and small towns, the move will afford the youth from those communities an opportunity to acquire relevant skills without having to travel long distances.


As the linkage of the Setas and FETs merges education with training to provide the youth with skills needed by employers once they finish school, what better way of bringing this opportunity at the doorstep of that obscure rural learner?

With the financial backing to the tune of the projected over R21,9 billion income from the skills development levy set for allocation into NSDS 2005-10, young people could only have themselves to blame for missing out. 

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