This EU Investment Month webinar focussed on the mismatch between the skills that South African educational institutions are producing and those which employers need.
Further education and training seeks to meet the skills needs of employers and improve the employability of job-seekers. However the quality of training in South Africa, and its responsiveness to the needs of the labour market, is uneven and graduates often struggle to find work. South Africa remains behind in many international rankings on education and training. Urgent action is required, but this should be informed by research and lessons learned. At least eight EU Member States (and Switzerland) as well as the EU Delegation play an active role in improving the synergies between education and employment. In this webinar we will hear insights from their experience.
Framing the discussion, experts presented analysis from a recent CBPEP-supported study that tracked the destinations of graduates completing training in South African TVET colleges. The findings of the study confirm that employment outcomes for TVET college graduates vary across programmes and, while better overall than is generally assumed, leave significant room for improvement. These findings will help the Department of Higher Education to identify areas of weakness and to improve the quality and relevance of TVET programmes. By working with the Department to design and implement the study, and to process and analyse the results, this CBPEP-supported project has also helped to build the capacity of the Department to undertake further studies of this nature and to use the results to inform policy and planning.
The end goal is, in fact, that we would like, if possible, to arrive at an agreed framework for a systemic engagement and a skills partnership that will help us reshape our TVET system to better meet the needs not only of employers in the labour market but of young people and of workers, too.
Glen Fisher, CBPEP
“I think the research really gets us to a place where we have a much more nuanced and granular view of what’s actually happening within the sector, and how people are managing to navigate the opportunities that are available to them, and what needs to be put in place. Particularly the idea that we need lifelong learning and continuous development, and that the system needs to be developed in that way, and it needs to be built in that way. And I think we’re at a lucky moment as well within South Africa where there’s a real openness within government to using evidence to develop policies. “ says Fionnuala Gilsenan, Ambassador of Ireland to the Republic of South Africa