We Will Drastically Increase Intake In TVET Colleges, Says Department

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On Wednesday afternoon, the Minister of Higher Education took the podium to announce the Department's Budget Vote for 2023/24. He outlined plans for TVET College expansion in the country.

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Every year, different departments present their budgets to Parliament and a Budget Vote is taken. This year, during the Department of Higher Education's Budget Vote, Minister of the Department, Blade Nzimande, spoke on plans to expand the Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector.

This year, the Department has a budget of R133.8 billion, with an average increase of 5.3% every year.  

Plans to expand TVET Colleges is part of the Department's National Plan for Post School Education and Training which contains six goals and associated objectives and four ideas emerge "as the new drivers for the system".

During his speech, the Minister said:

The time has arrived for us to drastically increase intake in TVET Colleges.

His department is planning for TVET Colleges, both public and private, to have 2.5 million students in attendance with the department having to "change the size and shape of our PSET system particularly to expand the college sector". 

TVET Students Advancing To Employment

Part of being a TVET College student is that you would need to do both theory and practical work which leads to opportunities such as learnerships and apprenticeships with placements being done through the department at times. In the past year, the department has opened up 14 954 TVET placement opportunities to the value of R726 million.

They also aim to have 20 000 placements of TVET graduates work placements. 

Another opportunity TVET Colleges open students up to is entrepreneurship as 26 of the 50 TVET colleges in the country offer entrepreneurial training through their Entrepreneurship Hub. Nzimande has said, "we are working to ensure that  all our colleges are involved in some form of entrepreneurship training in the next three years".

There has also been an increase in the number of Centres of Specialisation from 26 to 34 centres at 20 TVET Colleges, which costs the department R68 million, as well as trade test centres with 35 centres available at 16 colleges. "These trade test centres have trade tested over 600 artisans of which over 500 have qualified as artisans," said the Minister.

TVET College Administration

A very prominent issue at TVET Colleges is the delay of delivering certificates to graduates which ultimately delays their employment. During the Budget Vote, the Minister announced that they aim to improve administration at TVET Colleges which will lead to faster issuing of certificates, amongst other things.

This is being done by standardizing registration and admission processes used at TVET colleges. Registrations will be able to be done both manually and online.

We have also witnessed student growth in several colleges that have now begun to embrace the use of technology in their enrolment processes and reducing the number of walk-ins at TVET colleges.

So far, R3.7 billion has been invested into  the maintenance and repairs of TVET Colleges’ infrastructure through the Capital Infrastructure and Efficiency Grant as well as for upgrading the Information Technology infrastructure at colleges.

TVET College Campuses  

Last year, the Minister announced that 16 new TVET college campuses were being built. Now, nine of these new campuses have already been built at a cost of R2.6 billion.

These 16 new campuses will be built with the hope of increasing access to and success in the Post School Education and Training (PSET) sector. The Minister has previously said that he doubts that their target will be achieved within the initial timeline. 

While great strides have been made since the end of apartheid in 1994 and the establishment of the DHET in 2009, the government needs to consistently develop new initiatives and increase access to tertiary education if they are to meet their goal of 2.5 million TVET students by 2030. 


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