Focus on skills shortages

Mary Papayya

Mary Papayya

In an effort to address the skills shortages in KwaZulu-Natal, education MEC Ina Cronje is seeking to develop a partnership with education authorities in Germany.

Cronje led a group of provincial education officials and Further Education and Training (FET) college rectors on a working visit to Germany, where they held talks with the minister of Baden-Wurttemberg's Ministry for Education, Youth and Sport, Helmut Rau.

Cronje said the KwaZulu-Natal government wants to strengthen partnership and cooperation with the Baden-Wurttemberg government. The province has a project plan for 2010 and beyond.

"The KZN department of education is committed to make this partnership work. We know that Germany has experts in vocational training, that is why we want to foster links with your institutions of excellence," said Cronje.

Cronje said there were many people in South Africa who did not have an opportunity to get an education and skills training because of the legacy of the past.

She said most of those people were too old to go back to school.

"But we know that through short courses they can become skilled and be able to play a meaningful role in the economy."

Cronje also proposed a partnership to train teachers and lecturers responsible for vocational training in FET colleges.

"We are facing serious problems when it comes to qualified lecturers in the skills sector. Partnering in this regard can be of great assistance," she said.

"We realise the German model cannot be simply copied or transferred, but we can always learn and adapt this for South Africa."