Category Archives: Skills Development

Further eduction and training opportunities for the Class of 2013

Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande
Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande


The Department of Higher Education is encouraging all students who recently passed their matric exams to think about continuing their education and training,  and is promoting the numerous opportunities that are available to them. Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande has stated that there is a catalog of opportunities available to the Class of 2013.

Apart form the existing higher education institutions, two new universities have opened their  doors, one in  Mpumalanga and one in the Northern Cape. There are also plans to build an open  a further 12 Further Education Training (FET) colleges this year.

Given the higher pass rate of the Class of 2013, higher education institutions are expecting an increased demand for places in the post-school education and training system. Blade Nzimande stated that, “This significant increase in successful candidates with predominantly Bachelor and Diploma entrance National Senior Certificates will have implications for the Department in relation to enrollments within higher education institutions.

The Education Department is well aware of the fact that passing matric is a huge step in the live so of South African youth and is encouraging all them to think about continuing their education and look at the  400 000 opportunities available to them in the post-school education and training system, whig includes 25 universities, 50 FET colleges and 21 Sector Education and Training Authorities.

The following opportunities are available to students:

– 197 946 new entrant opportunities in universities;
– 23 000 Engineering and Business studies opportunities at FET colleges;
– 44 000 National Certificate Vocational programme opportunities at FET colleges;
– 10 000 artisanal opportunities at FET colleges.

Nzimande also mentioned that in collaboration with FET colleges, SETAs and employers, there  are 93 000 occupational directed apprenticeship and learnership opportunities available and an additional 12 000 artisanal opportunities within the retail auto sector.

There are also more than 16 000 learnerships available from the various SETAs across the country. The Department of Education is making every effort to communicate these opportunities to students via various departmental career guidance initiatives and career festivals. The department in collaboration with the SABC also produced weekly short programs providing information ranging from career guidance and information s about universities and FET colleges.

Nzimande and the Department of education is calling on all students to to apply for further study opportunities. The department has set up a dedicated website and call centre to assist students. Students that cannot afford to call these centre are able to request the centre to call back via ‘please call me back’ messages.

Nzimande admitted that there was always more that could be done to assist students in their decisions to further their education and career guidance and that it is the goal of the department to place at least two career guidance councilors in all FET colleges across the country in 2014.


Challenges facing higher education system

Nzimande has reiterated that there are many challenges for the department when it comes to available space for students who wish to further their education and training. It is the aim of the government to expand the FET college sector as  per the National Development Plan which requires that government produce at least 30 000 qualified artisans per year by 2030.


Bursaries, grants and student financial aid

Nzimande stated that the government has set aside R8.3-billion in financial aid for students to further their education and training. This year the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) will be assisting 205 000 students at universities and 215 000 students at FET colleges via student loans and bursaries. On top of that, a further R497 million will be available via the National Skills Fund for critical skills programmes that are needed for the growth of the economy.



What are the advantages and benefits of Continuing Education?

Continuing Education


Are you looking for a promotions at work? Are you looking to change jobs? If you answered yes, then, perhaps you should be thinking about continuing education. One of the greatest advantages of continuing education is that it can upgrade and improve your current set of skills required by your current job or provide you with the necessary skills if you are thinking about a career change.

Required skills in numerous employments positions change over time. Therefore in order to stay ahead of crowd and up to date with current employment conditions, one needs to continue learning and prepare oneself for any changes in your field of employment. Continuing educations is also vital for those individuals who are thinking about changing their careers and entering into a new field or for those jobs that require cross-functional sets of skills. Numerous training institutions and online learning have made it possible and convenient for individuals to further their education without having to consider quitting their current jobs.

There are those companies that demand that their employees continue with their education and acquire new skills in order to keep their current jobs or to move to alternative positions within a company that require advanced skills levels or a different set of skills. For example, companies that upgrade existing equipment or introduce new technologies within the company may require that employees undertake training courses in order to continue production. There are also those fields of  employment that demand individuals to continue with their education in order to stay current and maintain their license. Employers may also demand that individual continue with their education in order to receive salary increases. Numerous companies encourage their employees to continue learning and upgrade their current skills-sets and provide educational assistance programs to assist with the financial burdens of continuing education.

For this individuals who are considering a career change and entering into a new career field or sector, then continuing education courses are vital in order to attain the necessary skills for a new career. There are some fields of employment that have some overlapping skills, while field demand a totally new set of skills. Depending on the sector of field of employment, a completely new degree might be necessary in order to change careers. There are those occupations that may demand that individuals simply take one or two courses at a vocational schools or perhaps only demand a certification program accompanied by work experience.

Aside from having to upgrade one’s skills for your current job, another major benefit of continuing education is to take a course in order to develop a new interest or hobby. For example, learning a new language, craft or musical instrument.

Continuing education does not necessarily have to take place in a classroom environment. One can choose to attend local workshops, take a course online or even volunteer in a new field and acquire news skills. If you would like to upgrade your handyman skills you could volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, for example, and learn skills required to do odd jobs around your house. Workshops offered by companies give employees the opportunity to network with other professionals and to obtain a deeper insights as to how the company functions and operates. Professionals who do not have the time to return to full time studies can take online courses to update their skills and,  in turn,  avoid schedule clashes and travel costs. If one is thing about a career change, an internship is a good alternative to acquire new skills and also to get a feel for a new field of work without having to commit oneself to a formal education program.

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W Cape creates R5.8m training and development program for artisans

Western Cape logo


Western Cape government takes on the challenge of tackling the skills shortages in the region with the launch of an artisan development programme in the province. The objective of the programme is to up skill and train local workers and provide employment opportunities for young individuals.

The programme is a collaboration between the private sector, communities, Skills Education Training Authorities (SETAs) and Further Education and Training (FET) colleges. R5.8-million has been set aside to promote and train artisans in the region.

Minister Alan Winde, the Western Cape Finance, Economic Development and Tourism Minister, commented that the scarcity and lack of artisans in the region could have a devastating effect and impact on the local economy moving forward given the critical importance of these type of skills when it comes to service delivery especially within the engineering sector.


Western Cape Finance, Economic Development and Tourism Minister Alan Winde
Western Cape Finance, Economic Development and Tourism Minister Alan Winde


The goal and objective of the programme is to educate and train individuals with the necessary skills and in turn create and ongoing supply of qualified and skilled artisan who in turn can obtain employment and play an important role in advancing and growing of emerging sectors such as oil and gas industry.

The initial stage of the program will provide the necessary funding and support for 200 young individuals to complete their training and prepare them to take the National Trade Test exams.  The programme will also focus on training teachers and coaches within the 72 companies who have opted to join the programme  and assist them to train the young candidates whilst they are interning in these companies.

The programme is also aligned and works in parallel with the government’s National Development Plan which recognizes the importance of artisanship which can provide “shock absorbers for extreme poverty and platforms for self-employment” within developing economies and countries.

According to recent statements and comments from the National Development Plan, South Africa will need to produce at least 30000 artisan annually and the Western Cape government  want to play its part in helping the National Development Plan achieve its national objectives and goals.



Study tips and techniques to help improve exam results

study skills


Students who adopt and implement good study skills and strategies are far more likely to succeed and attain better results. All individuals are unique and different study methods work differently for each person. Below are a few suggestions and tips to improve your learning experience and study techniques.

  • Review your lecture notes immediately after class when all your thoughts and ideas are fresh. Write down questions to ask your lecturer for deeper understanding.
  • Cramming the night before an exam will not help to improve your grades. Rather come up with a plan well in advance and space out your studies. Review your subject material several times and focus on one topic at a time.
  • Find or create a study area that is quiet, comfortable, has good lighting with minimum distractions. Avoid your bed or family room with television in background.
  • Make sure that all your study material is close at hand including your lecture notes, textbooks, guides, summaries that you have made. This will avoid leaving your area of study to find something and breaking your concentration.
  • Plan and manage your study sessions giving more emphasis to the important subject material at the outset. Doing this will give you time access what you know and if necessary approach your lecturer for assistance.
  • Start with understanding the broader overall concepts and main ideas of course material leaving the details for later. Write down the main ideas first to make sure that you have grasped the overall picture of your courses.
  • As you read through your course material make brief notes of all the important ideas. Thereafter, write a summary to ensure that you have  fully grasped all concepts of the subject material or topic at hand.
  • Do not study for lengthy periods at a time. It is better to take frequent short breaks. 10 minutes every hour.
  • Create a plan to manage your time and subject material well in advance. You will be more successful if you spread out your study sessions instead of having to cram all your material the night before your exam. Studying every day will help you to retain all information over the log term. Cramming will help you in the short term but when it comes to the big final exam you will have start all over again.
  • When you read your course material, be honest and make sure you understand what you trying to learn. Avoid trying to memorizing everything. Understanding the overall subject matter will make it easier to remember the details.
  • Prior to final exam test yourself and identify your strong and weak areas. Ask a friend to test you and / or get hold of old exams or practice tests.
  • Don’t forget to manage your nutritional needs and feed your brain. Eat healthy and exercise.

BP invests R105m in SA youth development and training

bp logo


A partnership between energy group BP and the University of the Witwatersrand has given rise to a R105 million investment across the next 6 years in an effort to develop, train, and equip South African youth. The program endeavors to develop a pipeline of skilled and competent professionals.

The Targeting Talent Programme compliments the governments socio-economic empowerment goals and will benefit more than 900 talented grade 10 to 12 students from Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga rural schools between now and 2018. The programme has been running for 6 year and thus far has made it easier for countless individuals to bridge the gap between high school and university over this period.

Energy Minister Dipuo Peters praised the programme and partnership between BP and the University of the Witwatersrand and all the assistance and helps it has provided to South Africa youth who continue to find it hard to gain access to university. “This programme is adding value to lives.”

The Targeting Talent Programme (TTP) takes a difference approach to education and training, and provides holistic talent development hoping that this will be helpful to South African younger generation to steer clear of the countless negative influences they face in their daily lives. The programme objective is to boost academic, social and psychological preparation of gifted students.

The programme takes place during school holidays running over a 2-3 year period. During this time period, students cover their entire academic curriculum. Subjects such as Maths, Information Technology and Molecular Literacy are some of the subjects taken. The programme helps to inspire learners and build their self-confidence in addition to preparing them to enroll at a local college or university.

Preparing learners for the future

The programme is an initiative that will help and assist to create and develop South African youth to enable them to go into the job market having an entrepreneurial flair. In addition, it prepares and equips young adults to enter the work environment.

Currently, South Africa is undergoing a transformation whereby various skills are required to support the country’s infrastructure building and government goals. The programme hopes produce individuals who will choose to enter areas of study that compliment the government infrastructure goals.

Professor Loyiso Nongxa, a former Wits vice chancellor and TTP founder, commented that the program is extremely personal him and is an instrument that could be employed to address societal challenges such as inequality.

BP chairperson Thandi Orleyn expressed that the company’s backing and investment in this program is to address the developmental needs and requirements of the country.