Department Makes Progress With Work Placements Of TVET Graduates

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Youth employment rates in South Africa remain high, however the government is determined to find employment opportunities for young people especially those who have graduated with tertiary qualifications. 

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Unemployment rates in South Africa continue to be a challenge for its government as those who have graduated from tertiary institutions also find it difficult to find jobs. 

In efforts to combat this, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) will place 10 000 TVET college graduates at workplaces from April 2022. 

This is done to assist young people when entering the workplace and improve their prospects for employability. 

The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Blade Nzimande has stated that at the moment 7 000 students have been placed and he is confident that the 10 000 placement target will be reached by 31 March 2023. 

The Select Committee on Education and Technology, Sport, Arts and Culture reported that many letters of complaint was sent to them from TVET students which stated that TVET management was not bothered that students did not have work placements. 

The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) said it is still proceeding with placements and it is confident that the placement target will be reached. 

Concerns were also raised about the placements of TVET students from TVET colleges in rural areas as well as experimental learning and how the department plans to solve the issues that graduates in rural areas are facing. 

The Minister acknowledged that placements of TVET graduates were a challenge in rural areas due to the lack of significant workplaces. He said that the DHET aims to initiate further investigations of rural conditions to find available jobs for TVET graduates. 

For example, motor mechanic students may be able to offer their services at available police stations while other students may work on the construction and repair of school desks. 

The department stated that performance agreements with TVET college principals ensures that student work placements are prioritised, this is because they believe that vocational training cannot exist without student placement. 

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