The South African College Principals Organisation (Sacpo) and Huawei have signed a memorandum of understanding to roll out information and communication technology (ICT) academies in all of South Africa’s 50 technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges, by 2021, Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Blade Nzimande has announced.
Nzimande on December 8 said the Huawei courses would add to those offered at universities, and be offered as part of ICT programmes to act as a bridge between enterprises and academia to build a talent ecosystem for the ICT industry.
“Today I remain honoured that the Huawei ICT Academy, which is a nonprofit partnership programme that authorises our universities and TVET colleges to deliver Huawei certification courses to their students, continues to record significant successes,” the Minister said.
The Huawei ICT Academy provides free Huawei Certified Academy Instructor training and certification for two instructors for each technology pathway and also provides for students not only to learn theoretical knowledge but also improve hands-on practical abilities and it is closely related to actual working scenarios which ensure that students meet the requirements of their jobs in the ICT industry.
Nzimande noted that technical and vocational education was a vital component of post school and training systems owing to its importance in helping students develop the technical and practical skills needed to improve their livelihoods and to be competitive in today’s world.
TVET SECTOR'S ROLE IN TRAINING FOR OCCUPATIONS IN HIGH DEMAND
The Minister added that the TVET sector must be able to embrace the National List of Occupations in High Demand in South Africa, the latest of which was released last week.
“The list reflects the work undertaken by the Department of Higher Education and Training, through the labour market intelligence research programme, to support human resource development in our country. In this list, we have identified 345 occupations that are in high demand out of a total of 1 500 registered in our Organising Framework for Occupations,” said the Minister.
Nzimande said the list, which was updated every two years, marked an important step towards helping the department better understand the needs of the labour market and signals opportunities where students and graduates stand a better chance of finding employment.
“This list tells us which occupations are likely to have what vacancies and which occupations are likely to grow due to new investments, especially by government. Many of the occupations on the list can be associated with key areas and sectors identified as crucial for the [Economic] Reconstruction and Recovery Plan as announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa, such as the digital economy, energy, infrastructure development, manufacturing, tourism and agriculture, data scientists, web developers, computer network technicians, electrical engineers, concentrated solar power process controllers, mechatronic technicians, toolmakers, gaming workers, crop produce analyst and agricultural scientist, just to name a few,” he commented.
Nzimande motivated that both TVET colleges and Huawei use the list to inform their selection of programme offerings, their resource allocations and enrolment planning processes, as well as the identification and development of new qualifications and programmes that are more responsive to the needs of the economy and society as a whole.
“The programme has been designed to deliver standard certification courses required by employers. These courses prepare our students with the latest technology and practical skills to work in the ICT industry, making them more employable and help kick start their careers,” he noted.