On the 17th and 18th of July the British Council hosted the International Skills Partnership Conference, themed ‘Partnerships: what is needed to make international collaborations flourish?’. On the 17th July invited guests attended a workshop and a Gala Dinner; a dinner where Afrotwist from Word and Sound treated guests to beautiful sounds with a surprise performance by seasoned comedian Chris Mapane. The event concluded on the 18th of July with a full day conference.
The purpose of the conference was to tackle the global challenge of skills gap by engaging in a discussion on the best practice on how to build skills of young people so they are able to work as well as create work in order to compete in today’s globalized world. The conference attendees included SA and UK TVET Colleges, Universities, SETAs, research agencies, employers and employer associations as well as independent experts.
British Council South Africa Director, Colm McGivern said: “The purpose of our skills work in the British Council is higher quality skills development that meets industry needs and helps young people. Complex international partnerships create real benefits for organisations as well as learners, even so for UK as well as South Africa”
One of the guests, Mike Stuart from the Skills Handbook said; “The programme was fantastic and we wish to have more of these initiatives in the future.
Some of the topics and sessions that were lined up in the programme included ‘The benefits of participation by industry players’, ‘Reflections of international collaborations: implication on policy, systemic change and skills development’ and an ‘International Skills Partnerships Panel discussion’ with panelists from UK and SA colleges. Speakers at the conference included Professor Joy Papier, an expert in the post schooling sector in South Africa, Kathleen Zhong who leads British Council’s Skills for Employability programme in China, Mr. Charles Kemp, the Training Manager at Ford South Africa and Mr. Wayne Adams the COO of MerSETA.
Amongst the participating SA TVET Colleges were Gert Sibande, Northlink, Orbit, Sedibeng and Eastcape Midlands with UK represented by Harrow, Walsall and Gwent TVET College who were leaders of the consortiums.