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Education & Skills Development News

SA should do more to prepare for skills loss as professors approach retirement 

By: Natasha Odendaal     22nd June 2012 South Africa has the potential and talent to reach the highest levels of scientific achievement, but half of the country’s professors and associate professors were retiring within the next ten years, and not enough has been done to adequately prepare for their replacement, said Science and... 

SA needs to accelerate expert welder training programmes

By: Schalk Burger     22nd June 2012 Expert training programmes to develop internationally accredited welding personnel are needed for South Africa’s manufacturing industry to compete on the international stage and to meet South Africa’s infrastructure development aspirations, says University of Pretoria welding expert and... 

Espousing the virtues of SA’s vocational training option

By: Nomvelo Buthelezi     22nd June 2012 The value of South Africa's new National Certificate (Vocational), or NC (V), as an alternative to matric in the context of the country's chronic technical skills shortages came under the spotlight at a recent seminar hosted by False Bay College. 

Homegrown initiative using chess to bolster the analytical prowess of South African youth 

By: Natalie Greve     22nd June 2012 The game of chess is not well known for its ability to disregard socioeconomic barriers and appeal to the most disadvantaged in society, but a recently launched South African-borne initiative is attempting to use the game do just that – and it appears to be succeeding. 

Formal employment up but factories shed jobs

By: Reuters     19th June 2012 Employment in South Africa's formal sector edged up 0.1% in the first quarter of 2012 compared with the previous quarter, with job increases in the mining sector and a fall in manufacturing, Statistics South Africa said on Tuesday. Africa's biggest economy is struggling to create jobs and reduce... 

National artisan conference planned for July 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     19th June 2012 Higher Education and Training Minister Dr Blade Nzimande will host a national artisan development conference on July 4 and July 5. His department said in an advertisement this week that the conference would seek to establish a formal, national platform under the Minister of Higher Education and... 

Engineers confident of their future but skills a concern

By: Natasha Odendaal     18th June 2012 Despite a number of initiatives aimed at dealing with the critical skills shortage in South Africa, a survey found that engineering professionals did not believe this was sufficient and remained concerned about the skills shortages in their relevant professions. The quarterly survey, undertaken... 

Combining electrician training with workplace experience seen as critical

By: Schalk Burger     15th June 2012 Learnership programmes, where artisans in training work under a qualified and registered electrician, must effectively supplement formal artisan training by providing practical experience underpinned by the official quality and safety standards, says accredited electrician training centre P & T... 

Facts of business transfer determine labour law applicability

By: Schalk Burger     15th June 2012 The facts around the transfer of a business, specifically whether the business and services continue after the transfer, will determine whether Section 197 of the Labour Relations Act, No 66 of 1995 (LRA) is applicable, in which case the employees must continue to be employed by the new employer... 

‘Visegrad Group’ seeks to build trade relations with SA

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     15th June 2012 The Visegrad Group, which is made up of European Union countries including Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary, is looking to increase its trade and investment partnership with South Africa. With Europe being South Africa’s biggest trade and investment partner, the group aims to... 

NWU opens new engineering faculty

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     13th June 2012 South Africa needs at least 25 000 engineering graduates each year, for the country to be truly economically competitive, the North-West University said this week, as it opened a new 18 000 m² engineering faculty, at its Potchefstroom campus. Acting dean Professor Jan de Kock said the faculty... 

Wage subsidy talks to be sped up – Minister 

By: Sapa     11th June 2012 The process of adopting a youth wage subsidy is being speeded up, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel said on Monday. Replying to a written parliamentary question from Democratic Alliance MP Kenneth Mubu, Patel said moves were underway to accelerate discussions at the National Economic... 

DoE preparing nuclear skills strategy as Necsa retrenchments loom 

By: Natasha Odendaal     11th June 2012 The Department of Energy (DoE), in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology (DST), was investigating possible plans for the retention of skills critical to South Africa’s nuclear build programme, Minister of Energy Dipuo Peters said on Monday. Responding to a Parliamentary... 

Report outlines SA industrial growth opportunities 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     8th June 2012 South Africa offers significant and serious long-term growth and development potential for foreign direct investment, despite the challenges that confronts the country at present. Speaking at the launch of consulting firm Oxford Business Group’s (OBG’s) ‘The Report: South Africa 2012’, Trade and... 

Group’s elearning programme showing positive results

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     8th June 2012 Information technology and communications company Dimension Data reports that its nationwide e-Learning Centre initiative continues to give students access to premium technology applications to support the school curriculum.  

Chinese, African investors should strive to understand host countries’ business culture

By: Schalk Burger     8th June 2012 Increasing Chinese or African businesses’ understanding of its host country’s business culture, work ethics and society will lead to improved business relationships and trust between China and African countries, says market analysis firm Frontier Advisory China Africa analyst Jinghao Lu. 

New law to place strict curbs on disclosure of personal information

By: Schalk Burger     8th June 2012 The Protection of Personal Information Bill, when it passes into legislation, will have significant ramifications for how personal information is handled by companies and employers, specifically with regard to the right of individuals to access, correct and limit access to and use of their... 

Committee to develop higher education strategy for SADC 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     5th June 2012 The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has established a technical committee, comprising of senior officials in the region, to focus on revival strategies for higher education and training. The technical committee would develop a higher education and training plan for the region,... 

Job creation still a problem – govt report 

By: Sapa     1st June 2012 Job creation initiatives across government departments remain a challenge, according to a mid-term report tabled on Friday. While "possibly over 350,000 jobs" were created last year, employment levels are still below those of 2008, before the recession, according to the 'Mid-Term Review of the... 

Association aims to improve training programme accessibility

By: Yolandi Booyens     1st June 2012 The Southern Africa Stainless Steel Development Association (Sassda) plans to introduce e-learning courses to make its training and skills development programmes more accessible to industry, the association’s skills development manager, Mankabe More, tells Engineering News. 

Grassroots leadership key to successful education 

By: Schalk Burger     1st June 2012 The leadership of primary school and high school teachers and principals in the development of excellent schools in rural communities is of over-riding importance in motivating and stimulating school children to achieve well, says North West Department of Basic Education deputy director SM Semwase. 

Black business stresses importance of small businesses 

By: Natasha Odendaal     31st May 2012 The recently relaunched Black Business Council (BBC) on Thursday said that a game-changer was required, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to put the country on an effective job creation path. While black economic empowerment (BEE) and the inclusion of black-owned... 

Shift in policy required for SEZs to be successful – CDE 

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     30th May 2012 A bold paradigm shift in South Africa’s economic policy is required to ensure the success of the country’s new Special Economic Zones (SEZs) programme, Centre for Development and Enterprise (CDE) executive director Ann Bernstein said on Wednesday. At the launch of the new CDE report on SEZs, she... 

Africa needs programmes to boost youth employment - study 

By: Terence Creamer     28th May 2012 Africans aged between 15 and 24 currently comprise 60% of the continent’s unemployed, with 22-million of those 40-million unemployed youths having abandoned the search for a job, the latest ‘African Economic Outlook’ warns. The 2012 report, which contains country notes on 53 countries, urges... 

Land uncertainty biggest challenge for agriculture investment 

By: Natasha Odendaal     25th May 2012 Land uncertainty in South Africa held the largest negative connotations for potential international - and even local - agricultural investors, said Kruger International CEO Hein Kruger. Speaking at the Agribusiness Indaba on Thursday, Kruger noted that “perception was everything” when it came to... 

Local knowledge key to navigating Francophone Africa’s market risks

By: Schalk Burger     25th May 2012 Grassroots engagement with societies and communities, as well as knowledge of local legislation and regulatory practices, is crucial for the sustainability of companies venturing into the lucrative, but varied, Francophone African markets, say three experts on Western and Central African markets. 

Industry lacks skilled 
concrete technologists

By: Samantha Herbst     18th May 2012 A shortage of technical skills in the engineering and technology fields is crippling South Africa’s economic growth, says Cement & Concrete Institute (C&CI) MD Bryan Perrie. 

Gauteng leads job-creation way, Patel asserts 

By: Terence Creamer     17th May 2012 South Africa’s economic heartland of Gauteng created nearly half of the 305 000 net new jobs that emerged over the past 12 months, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel asserted in the National Council of Provinces on Thursday. He was speaking only days after Statistics South Africa’s... 

More SA professionals pondering emigration, survey shows 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      15th May 2012 A new survey of nearly 6 000 graduate professionals in South Africa, including engineers, shows that more of these individuals are again considering emigrating, owing to ongoing and rising concern over crime, healthcare and education. The latest PPS Graduate Professionals Confidence Index shows... 

Development programme benefits farmers

By: Samantha Herbst     11th May 2012 Grain SA’s Farmer Development Programme (FDP) has partnered with the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR) to empower developing farmers across the country. 

Ekurhuleni outlines plans 
for tackling unemployment head-on

By: Dimakatso Motau     11th May 2012 The Ekurhuleni municipality plans to tackle the high levels of unemployment by creating an integrated transport infrastructure and a modernised manufacturing sector as well as focusing on environment projects, as part of its review of the Growth and Development Strategy 2055 for the city. 

Corporate responsibility centre aims to boost development 

By: Schalk Burger     11th May 2012 There is an increasing awareness of the role companies play in the economic and ecological development of societies and economies, said Germany's Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH regional director Peter Conze, speaking at the Southern Africa German Chamber of... 

Adcorp sounds alarm over sick leave  

By: Sapa     10th May 2012 South Africa lost R3.9-billion worth of output last year to sick leave and absenteeism, recruitment company Adcorp said on Thursday. "The cost to the economy has been enormous. Due to the unplanned and unpredictable nature of sick leave, the knock-on disruptive effects on supply chains has... 

Highveld Steel may retrench workers 

By: Natasha Odendaal     9th May 2012 JSE-listed Evraz Highveld Steel on Wednesday said it was moving forward with its comprehensive cost reduction plan, which included labour restructuring. The steel producer was expected to start formal consultations with employee representatives on May 9, following the announcement of the... 

High unskilled wages contributing to unemployment – Uasa report 

By: Natasha Odendaal     4th May 2012 A report by trade union United Association of South Africa (Uasa), released on Friday, found that high wages for unskilled labour in South Africa was contributing to the country’s high unemployment rates. In the 2012 South African Employment Report, economist Mike Schüssler pointed out that many... 

SA begins replacing green ID books with smartcards 

By: Terence Creamer     4th May 2012 The South African government has reaffirmed that the green barcoded identity (ID) book will be phased out and replaced with a new smartcard ID after Cabinet endorsed a Department of Home Affairs (DHA) pilot project to test the hardware and software used to produce the cards. The new card would... 

CIPS signs MoU with university

By: Dimakatso Motau     4th May 2012 The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply Southern Africa (CIPS SA) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), in April.  

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