On 17th and 18th of July 2014, the British Council will host the International Skills Partnerships Conference at the Holiday Inn in Sandton, Johannesburg; themed 'Partnerships: What is needed to make international collaborations'. This is in partnership with the National Business Initiative and the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority (MerSETA); and is endorsed by the Department for Higher Education, and Training. The two-day affair will include a closed programme for SA & UK Colleges, an exclusive gala and open day for all International Skills Partnership conference invitees.
The programme tackles the global challenge of skills gap and implements projects on how to build skills of young people so they are able to work and compete in today’s globalized world. The purpose of the programme is to encourage closer links between education and industry with a focus on strengthening the technical and vocational education and training (TVET) sector. The two main strands that the programme focuses on are International Skills Partnerships and Policy Level engagements. Most importantly, the conference will highlight the benefits that can be obtained from international partnerships.
Each of the current 5 partnerships has a unique focus ranging from renewable energy, abridging courses, automobile curriculum enhancement and use of ICT platforms to enhance better learning and teaching. The participating South African Colleges are Gert Sibande College, Northlink College, Orbit College, Sedibeng College and Eastcape Midlands Colleges.
The British Council Country Director, Colm McGivern said,
“The Skills for Employability programme is the British Council's flagship programme supporting and developing youth employment in South Africa. Through international partnerships we're giving young people here and in the UK new opportunities, higher aspirations, and a greater global perspective. We believe that aligning skills development activities with technical and vocational education and training will help to bring about sustainable change for South Africa”.
Speakers at the conference will include 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 C-OEO of MerSETA. Participants can look forward to topics such as the ‘benefits of participation by industry players’ and ‘Reflections of international collaborations implication on policy, systemic change and skills development’.