GS College launches Decade of Artisans

Ms Makhazasi Radebe (Lekwa HOD; Community Services and Safety), Mr Mduduzi Manana (Deputy Minister: Department of Higher Education and Training) and Ms Palesa Rakometsi (Acting Director: Career Management and World Skills South Africa: Department of Higher Education and Training) arrive at the Decade of the Artisan Advocacy Campaign on 24 March.

The Gert Sibande Tvet College with Mr Mduduzi Manana, Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training, initiated the Decade of the Artisan Advocacy Campaign in the Gert Sibande Region on 23 and 24 March.

Chemical Industries Education and Training Authority (CHIETA) sponsored the two-day-event.

Mr Manana and college management met employers of the hospitality sector at the college central office on the first day.

They also met representatives of Eskom (Tutuka Power Station) being employers of electrical engineers and the engineering and automotive sectors at Graceland Hotel, Casino and Country Club in Secunda.

The meeting was aimed at encouraging college employer partnerships.

Mr Nick Balkrishen, college CEO, provided an overview of the college programmes and the rationale behind college employer partnerships.

Mr Balkrishen emphasised the need for employers to avail their workplaces as training spaces for artisan learners, and for lecturers to be exposed to the latest technology so that the college’s training is relevant and responsive to the needs of the employers.

According to the college, discussions on how to enhance the training as well as improving the professional attitude and work readiness of students proved to be fruitful.

Ms Makhazasi Radebe (Lekwa HOD; Community Services and Safety), Mr Mduduzi Manana (Deputy Minister: Department of Higher Education and Training) and Ms Palesa Rakometsi (Acting Director: Career Management and World Skills South Africa: Department of Higher Education and Training) arrive at the Decade of the Artisan Advocacy Campaign on 24 March.

More than 1 200 learners from local high schools attended the launch at the Gert Sibande Tvet College Skills Academy on the second day.

They were addressed by various speakers including Mr Manana whose theme was “it’s cool to be a 21st century artisan”.

The purpose was to provide information about the Tvet college sector and the importance of artisans in South Africa.

According to Mr Manana, the country is currently producing about 16 000 artisans annually, while the National Development Plan has an annual target of 30 000 by 2030.

“It is no longer fashionable to have a matric certificate or a university degree that does not lead to employment,” Mr Manana said.

He also said artisans are the economic drivers in countries such as Germany.

According to him, Germany is regarded as a leader in engineering with more college than university students.

Mr Manana indicated that the perception that colleges are for school drop-outs is outdated and must change.

“We are relying on you to consider enrolling at a Tvet college to sustain the country’s economy,” Mr Manana said.

Learners from different local high schools attend the Decade of the Artisan Advocacy Campaign on 24 March.

Ms Pretty Nkosi, a college graduate employed at Eskom, was invited to address learners.

She thanked government for providing free access to Tvet colleges for students from poor homes through the Department of Higher Education and Training Bursary Scheme administered by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).

The learners also got the opportunity to visit exhibition stands from 18 companies where various artisan trades were on display.

The event was a success and local school principals were excited to have taken part in such an event.

“The event was informative for learners as well as teachers,” Ms Sibongile Nhlapho, principal of Jandrell Secondary School, said.

According to her, teachers will now be able to provide learners with effective career guidance by referring them to a Tvet college.

Mr Nick Balkrishen (college CEO) addresses the students during the Decade of the Artisan Advocacy Campaign on 24 March.

  AUTHOR
Senamile Phungula
Journalist

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