Mdladlana blasts erratic SA education

Nkosana Lekotjolo

Nkosana Lekotjolo

Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana yesterday lambasted the South African education system, saying universities were producing graduates with qualifications that were not required by the labour market.

Mdladlana was speaking at Gold Reef City Casino, Johannesburg, during the department's Gauteng South Skills Development Projects.

The occasion showcased projects that addressed scarce and critical skills shortage in line with the Accelerated Shared Growth Initiative South Africa (Asgisa) and the Joint Initiative on Priority Skills Acquisition, both government-initiated.

The Gauteng South labour department said it had allocated R4,7million to give 132 candidates around the province skills needed in the motor industry.

Seventy-two candidates were also trained in spray painting and another 60 in furniture making.

Some of the trained candidates have already been placed in companies for apprenticeships and jobs.

"There has to be a total overhaul of our tertiary education because the business sector is losing faith in the universities, which are not producing the kind of skills businesses require to grow our economy," Mdladlana said.

"We need the kind of education that allows people to learn and also be employable."

He said something drastic had to be done with the Further and Training Colleges in order to effectively address the country's skills crisis.

Mdladlana told the business community and government departments that it was about time that companies stopped looking for excuses and took the issue of integrating disabled people seriously by employing them.

Motor industry and furniture associations at the event said the country was facing a skills crisis and welcomed the labour department's interventions in building a skills base.