Why vocational training is important in the South African economic landscape

Why vocational training is important in the South African economic landscape

Speaking to Brand South Africa, the director of international at the City and Guilds Group, Mike Dawe, cites vocational training as one of the essential cogs in the economic machine of the country.

“Vocational education can help fill skills gap, boost productivity, enhance industries employment, all of which have a significant impact on individuals, businesses and the economy as a whole,” says Dawe.

Indeed, Vocational Education Training (VET) is essential to keep the wheels of enterprise turning. Also known as Career and Technical Education (CTE) or Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), this type of skills development training sets out to develop both the skills and knowledge required to do a particular job within a specific profession, craft or trade. Within the realm of formal education, many public or private TVET colleges and technical universities offer national qualifications – as opposed to other ways in which a person can acquire vocational training, including apprenticeships or on-the-job training.

Vocational training differs from other tertiary qualifications (those offered at universities, for example) in the sense that the focus falls on preparing students for their chosen profession or trade by equipping them with the skills and theoretical knowledge needed to perform the day-to-day duties associated with their trade or profession. Here, the focus is primarily on real skills, although these are still grounded with theoretical industry-related knowledge.

Vocational education for careers in the technical or practical fields contribute greatly to addressing the skills shortage in the country, as well as to reaching the National Development Goals for employment. By creating a workforce that is capable of supporting inclusive growth of the economy and the many sectors that it is made up of, vocational training is imperative to initiating economic growth and providing employment opportunities in a country where skills are valued and scarce.

A 2016 report on VET in South Africa, India, the US and the UK, compiled by the City and Guilds Group, found that 36% of the South African CEOs surveyed were extremely concerned about the availability of key skills. Compared to a global average of 17%, the opinions of local CEOs speak volumes about just how important vocational education training is to furthering the country’s economic and development goals.

To find out more about how the programmes offered at Sparrow FET College can further your career, contact us today.

Leave a Reply