South Africa needs to increase its investment in early childhood development and ensuring quality training for educators at the basic education and foundation phase levels, specifically in maths and science, as well as increase the number of technical vocational education and training (TVET) and other vocational colleges, to help deal with its youth unemployment challenge.
Deputy President David Mabuza on Thursday added that the country needs to improve access, for the youth, to TVET colleges and other tertiary education institutions.
Mabuza, speaking at the third Human Resource Development Council of South Africa Summit, held at Emperors Palace, in Johannesburg, introduced the Human Resource Development (HRD) Strategy Towards 2030.
The HRD Strategy defines the core goals of the Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) and sets out five area-focused programmes to meet these goals – foundation education; TVET and other colleges; higher education and training, research and innovation; skills for the transformed society; and economy and the developmental state.
The programmes are aimed at addressing the challenges pertaining to poverty, inequality, the quality of education, the absorptive capacity of the local economy, and social cohesion.
Mabuza stressed the need for these programmes to mesh with, and advance, national imperatives and highlighted the importance of establishing and strengthening new and existing networks between the various stakeholders in attendance at the summit.
He noted that the summit “should provide actionable solutions to restoring the dignity of our people by empowering them . . . providing an opportunity to live a decent life”.
The summit, held under the themed ‘Partnerships revitalising work and learning’, brings together industry leaders, labour experts and academics to deliberate on issues including youth unemployment, empowerment and the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Higher Education and Training Minister Naledi Pandor, Science and Technology Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba and Labour Deputy Minister Patekile Holomisa were also in attendance at the summit.