South Africa: Minister Dr Blade Nzimande opened the state-of-the-art Trade Testing Centre earlier today at the South West TVET College at the Roodepoort West Campus as part of the department’s response to the community of the West Rand, the City of Johannesburg and Soweto who requested the department to build and upgrade PSET infrastructure in response to the skills needs of the communities in the area.
August is also observed as TVET Month with a focus on the increased production of women artisans. It is expected that the trade test centre will certify an increased number of women artisans.
Minister Nzimande said that the government is committed to broadening the participation and mainstreaming of gender, youth, and people with disabilities in education, training, science and innovation.
The National Development Plan 2030 (NDP) proposes that the country should be producing 30 000 qualified artisans per annum by the year 2030.
“At present, the country is producing an average 20 000 qualified artisans per year. We, therefore, need to ensure that the number increases drastically leading up to 2030 for the country to realise the NDP target. We, however, do believe that we are well on our way to attaining this goal and even surpassing it. Centers, like we are open today, are very much part of this agenda and will help us greatly in producing more artisans,” said Minister Nzimande.
Student Apprentice Ms Yanga Jiya said that it is high time the qualifying women fill the spaces as artisans, and she further encouraged her fellow apprentices to not give up, and she also made a call to the stakeholders to continue supporting the production of artisans in the country.
Addressing the delegates, the Student Representative Council President, Mr Samkelo Mokoena, said that 45% of students enrolled at the college are in the engineering and mechatronics field and applauded them for continuing with their studies to better their lives. He further encouraged all men to protect the women of the country, not forgetting a boy child who also needs to be groomed to become a better man in society.