HRDC summit gives hope to young people

Friday, May 11, 2018

Higher Education and Training Minister Naledi Pandor says the 3rd Human Resources Development Council (HRDC) summit must provide hope to young people, and must clearly indicate that they know their plight and have solutions. 

“First, we need to offer practical opportunities for skills development to a very diverse range of young people and adults. This skill set must go well beyond formal education and life skills training.

“Our partnerships must include and focus on critical literacy and numeracy and include occupational and professional programmes that lead young people into work and entrepreneurship positions and working people into leadership in their organisations and workplaces,” Minister Pandor said.

Minister Pandor was speaking at the 3rd Human Resources Development Council (HRDC) Summit held at Emperors Palace in Kempton Park, Johannesburg.

Themed “Partnerships revitalising work and learning”, the two-day summit, which started on Thursday brought together key industry leaders, labour experts and academics to deliberate on issues, including proposals to deal with youth unemployment and advance empowerment and the 4th Industrial Revolution, amongst others.

Recent statistics point to troubling levels of unemployment, especially among young people.

The Minister said the summit has to help the stakeholders move beyond numbers and into concrete programmes.

“The National Development Plan outlined what South Africa needs to do to address poverty, inequality and unemployment. The use of broad-based stakeholder compacts was signalled as a strategic imperative.

“The second task we must embrace is creating innovative partnerships to advance our national goals. I’m really pleased to see a significant presence of partners here and I hope the conclusion of our deliberations will be concrete collaboration and shared programmes for young people,” the Minister said.

She said she was really pleased that the modus operandi of the HRDC includes a full programme of commissioned research and integration of research outcomes into programmes they initiate.

“I believe a significant growth of initiatives is possible.”

Abundance of possible partners

The Minister also noted that there is an abundance of possible partners in South Africa and globally, emphasising the need to use them to good effect.

She said in working with the Council, she has been encouraged at seeing the competence of non-governmental organisations and of the trainers in state owned enterprises.

“I believe a significant growth in initiatives is possible and believe that as a summit we will be able to report on the advances we have made,” she said.

She added that greater efforts should be directed at supporting TVET colleges and community colleges to become premier trade and occupational skills development institutions.

“We should build a seamless relationship between the private sector and public institutions and develop successful skills development models through international partnerships.

“Our department hopes to work with our colleges to develop innovative specialist focus areas in each region in our country. If we succeed in broadening the programme offerings, develop quality staff and excellent infrastructure, I am convinced we will succeed in the ambitious skills targets of our 2030 strategy,” Minister Pandor said.

The HRDC is a national, multi-tiered and multi-stakeholder advisory body chaired by the Deputy President and managed by the Minister of Higher Education and Training.

It is constituted by government, business, organised labour, academia as well as civil society representatives, established to facilitate conditions that promote the optimal participation of all stakeholders in the planning, stewardship, monitoring and evaluation of HRD activities in the country. –