Thursday, 22 May 2014
On the 16th and 17th of May the College of Cape Town celebrated the success of 1700 graduates in four auspicious graduation ceremonies. Students graduated from a variety of different fields; including: Business Studies, Information Technology, Hospitality, Art & Design, Beauty Therapy, Hair care, Education and Training, Travel and Tourism as well as Electrical, Mechanical and Building and Civil Engineering.
One student; Kim Werthen, stood out amongst the rest by being awarded the “Excellence Award” for Top Achievement in NC(V) Finance, Economics & Accounting Level 4 and the “Excellence Award” for the Overall Best Achievement throughout the College in NC(V) Level 4. In addition, she was also awarded the prestigious “CEO’s Award”, for attaining the top achievement in the college across all exit levels. Sharon Grobbelaar, the Corporate Communications and Marketing Manager at the College of Cape Town was very pleased with the level of enthusiasm displayed by both staff and students “This was the first year that we had to increase the number of graduation ceremonies we had. In collaboration with the various Academic staff, the Marketing team really went the extra mile in giving the approximate 1700 College of Cape Town students a day that they will always remember. We are all exceptionally proud of our students and staff!”
Generally, the enrolment of students into technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges (formerly known as FET colleges) has grown by 131% since 2010. This was revealed last month by Minister of Higher Education and Training; Dr Blade Nzimande at the launch of the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) – SwissCham College Improvement Partnership at the Ekurhuleni West College (EWC), in Germiston, Gauteng. Although there are still challenges that must be addressed through industry and college partnerships, this statistic is impressive nonetheless.
“The DHET, which has oversight of the national skills development system, is already implementing a comprehensive strategy to bring all 50 public TVET colleges in line with prescribed national norms and standards, with a view to raise its colleges to a level comparable with the best worldwide,” said Dr. Nzimande. Improving the standard and investing in TVET Colleges has been a stringent goal of the Department of Higher Education and Training for a number of years. To recap, it was actually at Dr. Blade Nzimande’s official address at the opening of the FET College Summit in September 2010, where he declared that government would begin its effort at “making public FET colleges institutions of excellence” and “challenge the widespread perception that they are poorly resourced, second-choice institutions”.
According to Dr. Nzimande, “Key objectives in strengthening TVET colleges include improving access, throughput rates, management capacity, student support services and student accommodation.” In addition, Dr Nzimande also stated that the Department also intends to “develop management information systems, strengthen governance, increase funding, build partnerships between colleges and local employers, and improve the placement of college graduates in jobs.”
Ms Grobbelaar is very impressed with the goals set by Dr Nzimande-particularly those surrounding improving the placement of college graduates in jobs. “Whilst we are exceptionally impressed with the high number of graduates this year; this is just their first step towards the world of work. We try to assist our graduates as much as we can. The College has a dedicated Work Placement Unit at the Crawford Campus, which provides for a comprehensive support service to potential employers, students and lecturers across all programmes. The purpose of the Work Placement Unit is to identify various work opportunities within industry and to link suitably qualified students and graduates for appointment in such vacancies.”
In closing, Ms Grobbelaar stated that many South African employers and companies have found excellent solutions for the shortage of adequately qualified and experienced staff by sourcing students at Further Education and Training Colleges. “Many of our students have already forged relationships with employers that have led to immediate offers of employment after graduation. The College of Cape Town’s Work Integrated Learning Programme for students is aligned with the Department of Higher Education and Training’s vision to adequately prepare students for the world of work and create more work employment opportunities for FET College students.”
For any queries, the general public may contact Ms. Grobbelaar on 021 404 6723.