Plans to implement entrepreneurship training at TVET colleges

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Higher Education and Training Minister, Blade Nzimande, says the department is working to ensure that all Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges are involved in some form of entrepreneurship training in the next three years.

Tabling the department’s R133.8 billion budget for the 2023/24 financial year in Parliament on Wednesday, Nzimande said 26 of the country’s colleges are currently engaged in entrepreneurial training through so-called Entrepreneurship Hubs.

The department has also expanded its Centres of Specialisation from 26 to 34 centres at 20 TVET colleges with a further investment of R68 million.

“Sixteen colleges now have 35 Trade Test Centres [and] these trade test centres have trade tested over 600 artisans, of which over 500 have qualified as artisans,” Nzimande said.

Nzimande said the department is also standardising the registration and admission processes at TVET colleges, with an aim of doing away with different processes applied by colleges.

This will include standardisation in the processes of issuing of certificates.

“This standardisation process will also help us in the migration from manual to online registration processes in all our TVET colleges. We have also witnessed student growth in several colleges that have now begun to embrace the use of technology in their enrolment processes and reducing the number of walk-ins at TVET colleges,” Nzimande said.

The Minister announced that an amount of R200 million has been allocated from the National Skills Fund (NSF) to ensure that the objective of increasing offerings of skills programmes in the TVET colleges is achieved.

Through the National Skills Fund, funds have been allocated for capacity building of community college lecturers, introduced skills programmes, learnerships and nonformal programmes.

This includes the introduction of Civic Education.

The Minister announced that the department will be hosting a TVET Curriculum Review and Transformation seminar from 28 -30 August 2023.

Nzimande said the department is intensifying the implementation of the University Capacity Development Programme (UCDP) to ensure the entire public sector university system is developed.

Over a period of seven years, a total of 758 lecturer posts have been allocated to universities, and an additional 85 posts will be allocated to universities in the current financial year, as part of the New Generation of Academics Programme (nGAP).

This brings the total allocated posts to universities to 843 by the end of the current financial year.

“Of the total of 583 lecturers participating (nGAP), 338 (58%) are female and 245 (42%) are males; 569 are Black (African, Coloured and Indian) and 14 are White. We are also continuing to rollout development programmes through the Professor Sibusiso Bhengu Development Programme to strengthen our historically disadvantaged universities,” the Minister said.

Meanwhile, the department has received valuable public comments on the draft Central Application Service Bill and the department is currently studying the comments.

“Parallel to this process, we have initiated a pilot project of the Central Application Service for the academic years, 2023, 2024 and 2025,” he said. –