KZN giving youth the skills they need for 4IR

Friday, March 1, 2019

The KwaZulu-Natal provincial government is on a path to produce graduates who will help to ensure that the province adapts to the advent of the 4th Industrial Revolution.

The programme, which is in partnership with the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), focuses mainly on skilling local economic development specialists, who will assist municipalities to develop credible spatial development strategies essential to attract investment.

Besides UKZN, the province is also working with other tertiary institutions to develop pools of adequately qualified personnel that are focusing on advanced manufacturing, innovation, research, development and as well as skills for new job opportunities.

MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Sihle Zikalala, said the province hopes that these skills will drive the province's future economic growth.

An upbeat Zikalala described these programmes as a resounding success, adding that the province was responding well to the challenges and opportunities of the new technology-inspired Fourth Industrial Revolution.

“As part of the global community that is experiencing the effects of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we need to sharpen our approaches in the manner we do things. All of us must be seized by responding to the challenge of producing graduates who are able to compete globally and sustain our growth trajectory.

“That is why we have decided to fund many students to attain relevant capacities to compete effectively in the global market,” said Zikalala.

To ensure that the programme remains on track, Zikalala will today engage with local economic development and research practitioners who have been trained through the joint skills development programme with UKZN.

Some beneficiaries in Aeronautical Engineering interventions will also be sharing their experiences.

Another development in the province is the signing of a memorandum of understanding which will see the KZN Sharks Board assisting Reunion - which will mitigate shark attacks in the Indian Ocean.

The island of Réunion, an overseas French department located in the southwest Indian Ocean Island, is well known for its volcanic, rain-forested interior, coral reefs and beaches - which makes them a popular tourist destination. 

However, since 2010, the Réunion has experienced an outbreak of shark attacks, which resulted in swimming and surfing being banned at many beaches along the west coast of the island. 

Zikalala said the KZN Sharks Board would move beyond preventing shark attacks but to expand its mandate to include marine research and maritime skills development - which will contribute to job creation, economic development and radical economic transformation in the province. –