Pretoria: Over the next twenty years South Africa will see a dramatic improvement in skills development to meet the demands of a growing economy, says Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe.
“Today, we present a mid-term report which shows that the social partners that make up the Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) are committed to a robust human resource development value chain,” he said while releasing the HRDC mid-term report (March 2010- March 2012) on Friday.
The council in 2010 adopted a Human Resource Development Strategy for South Africa 2010 – 2030 which sets broad priorities for the next 20 years. “The strategy seeks to ensure universal access to quality basic education that is purposefully focussed on a dramatic improvement in skills to meet the demands of a growing economy,” said Motlanthe.
In recognition of education as a top priority and in response to the challenge of low skills base, government in 2010 established the HRDC to drive a human resource development strategy for South Africa and advise government on its implementation and other matters relating to human resource development.
He said skills development problems in the country could be attributed to weaknesses in the education and training system, from early childhood development and continuing right through the high school and post-school system and ongoing workplace professional development.
However, he said the HRDC had to identify the key weaknesses in the education and training system, ascertain the country’s needs, determine the strategic priorities and coordinate efforts to ensure that the country develops a skilled and capable workplace.
To implement the strategy the council adopted a five point plan based on the following priorities: Strengthening and supporting of the Further Education and Training (FET) colleges to increase access for students; Production of intermediate skills (with artisans given a special focus), and professionals; Production of Academics and stronger partnerships between industry and Higher Education Institutions;
Production of Academics and stronger partnerships between Industry and Higher Education Institutions; Worker Education and Foundational Learning. The HRDC is made up of social partners from all segments of society including government, organised labour, organised business, academic and other organs of civil society.