The establishment of centres of specialisation (CoS) is a part of the DHET national programme, aimed to increase the delivery of qualified artisans, producing a skilled and capable workforce to make a difference in the South African economy. The declaration of these centres of specialisation comes with the augmentation of resources to enhance capacity building within technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges, and to deliver trade qualifications with employer partners.
Furthermore, these centres of specialisation are intended to address priority trades required for the implementation of the government’s vision for the 2030 National Development Plan (NDP). Students in the programme are afforded the opportunity to acquire the relevant training in skills required in the country which will lead to employment.
The success of these centres relies on the participation by various stakeholders, such as industry associations, employers in artisanal development namely the Retail Motor Industry (RMI), Steel and Engineering Industry Federation (SEIFSA), Institute of Plumbing (IOPSA) and South African Institute of Welding (SAIW), which are all part of this ground-breaking initiative.
With the current economic challenges facing South Africa today, there is a clear need to obliterate the youth unemployment challenge. It requires action across a range of fronts, including measures to promote youth skills development and helping prepare them for the work environment. These CoS helps improve the country’s economic development, and active measures to encourage labour market injection. Evidence shows that effective vocational programmes can be part of the answer, in providing practical training linked to the prospect of job security.