Leveraging 4IR for VET in South Africa

Implementing agile, demand led training and development as pathways to employment

Making technology transformation tangible
  1. Host(s) – Anthony Gewer and Carmel Marock
  2. Participants: 9 including participation JET Education, Harambee, SEIFSA, IQ Business, Centre for Enterprise Development
  3. Challenges highlighted:
    • A need to align to priority sectors for job creation
    • A mismatch in skills supply and demand
    • Incentives for job creation
    • Isolated, silo, uncoordinated efforts
  4. Potential Solutions:
    • Focus on priority sectors for job creation – The Presidential Initiative for Youth Employment has identified priority sectors for job creation:
      1. Global business services and digital and technology
      2. Tourism and hospitality
      3. Agricultural value chains
      4. ndustrial sectors (installation, repair and maintenance)
      5. Social services (Early Childhood Development, Healthcare, Education and Elderly Care)
    • This Initiative creates conditions for effective alignment across role-players to ensure demand for skills across these priority sectors can be optimally addressed.
    • Address the mismatch between supply and demand
      There is an urgent need to address the skills mismatch to ensure that young people have the entry-level skills required to be absorbed into high-potential growth sectors in order to boost job creation. To enable this, measures must be taken to ensure that young people, many of whom are marginalised and excluded from the mainstream economy, are able to take up these opportunities and to do this with minimal intervention.
      The session agreed that the focus should be on shorter programmes, rather than a narrow focus on qualifications, aimed at closing the gap and preparing young people for jobs. For this to be successful, these shorter programmes require funding, recognition (through industry and professional bodies) and must have company buy-in.
      The recognition of shorter skills programmes requires a technology platform that integrates various databases and provides coordinated data on credentials that have been achieved by young work seekers.
    • Incentives needed to grow skills and jobs in these sectors
      The matching of supply and demand could be funded through an impact bond (pay-for-performance) that creates the incentives on both the supply and demand side for matching and developing multiple pathways for young people to get into jobs.
    • What will it take to create alignment?
      Need coordination of both people and technology so that data can be rationalised and shared to develop solutions that are evidence-based and scalable. This includes public (QCTO, DHET, DSB, SETAs, TVET Colleges and provincial/local government) and private (federations/chambers, private training providers, NBI) entities.  
  5. Possible next Steps:
    • Focusing on pathway management - The Presidency is leading a process and a few organisations, e.g. JET, Harambee, etc could add value
    • Demand led skills programme to be a key focus - This will be taken through HRDC in partnership with SD4GE, NBI, JET, Festo
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