The bi-annual National Skills Conference and Development Awards took place on 14 and 15 March at the Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg, Gauteng.

The two-day conference and the awards ceremony were convened by the National Skills Authority (NSA) this year under the theme ‘Building a demand-led skills development system that focuses on inclusive economic growth’, with over 1 000 delegates in attendance.

The conference was graced by the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Mrs Naledi Pandor, the Minister of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, and the Director-General of the Department of Small Business Development, Mr Lindokuhle Mkhumane, representing Minister Lindiwe Zulu.

During her speech, Minister Pandor noted that, while the country was on track to produce 30 000 artisans annually and graduate throughput had increased significantly, skills development providers should do things differently and focus on:

  • Including more young people with disability in skills training.
  • Building stronger relations and partnerships with employers.
  • Strengthening greater awareness of skills training and particularly support students to transition from the institutions to the world of work.
  • Paying closer attention to matters of quality and excellence.
  • Responding to the needs of local and provincial economies.
  • Focusing on training young people for self-employment opportunities.
  • Focusing on skills for the fourth industrial revolution.

National Skills Development Awards 2019

The much-anticipated awards evening on 14 March was the gala event of the conference. The awards recognise providers and employers that have significantly contributed to skills development through their implementation strategy for the training of artisans and who have successfully linked students to the world of work.

Gold, Silver and Bronze awards were presented for best practices in skills development in each of twenty-one sectors corresponding to the extant Sector Education and Training Authorities. This year, False Bay TVET College was honoured to achieve Gold for best practices in skills development under the ETDP SETA, the College’s anchor SETA. Silver in the category went to College of Cape Town with Umfolozi TVET College taking Bronze.

False Bay TVET College also took the prestigious Gold award in the Most Outstanding Skills Development Stakeholder category, ahead of College of Cape Town (Silver) and Aranda Textile Mills (Bronze).

False Bay TVET College Acting Principal, Karin Hendricks, says, “We are proud to have received these prestigious awards as they are indeed a wonderful recognition of our delivery and provision of quality skills training in supporting graduates to transition from the college to the world of work and securing placement opportunities for our graduates.

“We wish to thank every staff member for all their hard work and for their contribution to delivering quality skills training to our students. As a college, we will continue to look for opportunities to increase access to skills training for the unemployed youth of Khayelitsha, Mitchell’s Plain, Delft, Phillipi, Ocean View, Masiphumelele, Vrygrond and surrounding communities.”

Deputy Principal Ms Christiana Nel adds that the College was particularly pleased to have excelled at supporting its graduates during their transition to the world of work. “In 2018, our Work Integrated Learning Department achieved a 92% placement rate across all our programme streams and offerings.”

The National Skills Authority has hosted the conference since 2013. Its main purpose is to provide the sector with feedback on the implementation of the National Development Strategy and the National Skills Development Plan.

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