Top UK TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training Colleges) from the UK land in Johannesburg this weekend to begin partnership working with South African counterparts. Part of the British Council’s Skills for Employability programme, leaders from colleges across the UK will begin a year-long exchange programme with some of South Africa’s leading TVET specialists designed to boost the capability of colleges in both countries.
British Council Director South Africa Colm McGivern said:
“Vocational education colleges should be at the forefront of driving economic growth in both South Africa and the UK, creating a steady supply of highly skilled and well-motivated young artisans and apprentices for the correct areas of industry. In order to do this properly colleges themselves must be well run, well connected to local labour market needs, plus be attractive to students. These UK-SA links will focus attention on each of these areas and help TVET leaders learn from each other and best practice”
“The TVET sector in both countries has changed radically in recent years, and thanks to that there is a surprising amount that we can learn from each other. South Africa has a very effective levy system feeding in to the Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs), and the UK is boosting the numbers of apprenticeships with a levy to be paid by companies with payrolls of over £3million at a rate of 0.5%. South Africa has a lot of experience of rationalization within the sector, reducing the numbers of colleges and increasing enrolments, while the UK has a good record on student retention, attainment, and leadership development. Both sectors are rightly preoccupied by making sure the curriculum students are following is fit for purpose, and ultimately satisfying for both learners and industry. There’s no point in producing pre-redundant tradespeople due to weak curricula.
“And both South Africa and the UK have shared priorities of addressing poor skills and economic exclusion, system simplification, and strengthening the connectivity between supply and demand.
“At a time when economic growth is in sharp focus for both our Governments, it’s great to see partnership programmes like this with the Department of Higher Education and Training support TVET colleges in their drive for improvement."