A new capacity building programme, to be offered at Wits University will go a long way in addressing the country’s skills shortage.
Unveiled by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), the programme, which will be offered in honours, masters and certificate levels, builds on the department’s commitment to building capacity in the area of industrial Policy, and will span over a period of four years, starting this year.
It is primarily aimed at building capacity for the successful implementation of the Industrial Policy Action Plan 2 (IPAP2), by preparing economics and social sciences graduates for careers in policy making, research and development work.
“Graduates of this capacity building programme will be drawn into the government’s big push to drive the economy onto a New Growth Plan. We want postgraduates who understand that economic development requires partnership of the state and the private sector,” the minister said at the launch at Wits University.
The programme will further be supported by a series of policy dialogues and alumni workshops. International academics will be participating in its delivery and infuse it with exception international best practice.
The first pool of students for the programme, which starts later in February, includes post graduate students, economists and policy makers currently contributing towards the government’s economic policy ambitions.
“We want a generation of economic policy researchers who are not surprised by a global financial crisis but who understand the causes of crises and how to shield the South African economy and industry from global financial and economic volatility, contagion and recession,” said Davies.
Leading international scholars who are experts in development economics will participate in the delivery of the programme. These include Professor Bill Freund and Professor Ben Fine from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies.
Fine says the capacity programme represented a beacon of opportunity for the development of critical thinking and alterative policy making.
“From such a small beginning, the hope must be that others can support the attempts to broaden and to question the way we think about the economy and economic policy making,” said Fine.