Tshwane North TVET College hosted a business breakfast at the CSIR International Convention Center, to increase private sectors’ involvement in TVETs through partnership.
The college recognises the need to offer practical experience to their students through collaborating with industry to provide workspace experience.
The principal of the college Ms. Thembi Tsibogo said collaboration is a way of working together and moving in a positive direction.
This is where they will be able to produce graduates that are fit for purpose in terms of labour market needs. They are also looking at building partnerships to address the three challenges the country is facing which are unemployment, poverty and inequality.
”The college is looking at creating occupational programmes that will help address the shortage of skills among young people,” said Tsibogo.
They have also developed entrepreneurial centres to help students develop their entrepreneurial skills using any skills/knowledge they have to start businesses.
According to the principal without collaboration with other industries, most of their students will not graduate. This is because students doing NATED programmes need 18 months’ workspace experience to receive their national diploma.
Tsibogo addressed the assumption most people have that TVET colleges are not recognised by employers and businesses saying,
” It has to do with perception because we are coming from an era where TVET colleges were regarded as dumb schools and only people that are slow learners and not academically gifted attend there”.
“As TVET colleges it is upon us to also demystify those perceptions and demonstrate and indicate to these people that TVET colleges are the centre of skills development because universities cannot do what TVET colleges are doing”. Added Tsibogo.
Tshwane College is planning on approaching Ford companies to collaborate with them. It will ask them to allow them to train their students from their training centres to expose both students and lecturers to new technologies.
TVET colleges are mandated to align themselves with the challenges of 4IR and new technologies. Tshwane North College is in a position to introduce innovation and reduce ministerial programmes. This will enable them to focus more on addressing the critical skills shortage.
Tsibogo concluded by saying the institution has also had a lot of students that enrolled with them and later became successful and some moved on to start their businesses. That is proof that TVET colleges must be taken seriously as institutions.
Deputy Principal: Innovation and Development at Tshwane North TVET College said Lizeka Kosani that TVET colleges train young people to develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes needed in the labour market.
“They provide our people with relevant skills, and they create graduates with skills that the job market will accept,” said Kosani.