Trainees at a technical training centre in Soweto

Core area “Sustainable economic development, training and employment” Creating employment opportunities

More than half of young people in South Africa under the age of 25 are unemployed. At the same time, companies are having difficulty filling vacant posts because of a lack of skilled workers.

Although the government is investing a considerable amount of funding in education, training at public TVET (technical and vocational education and training) institutions is of a poor standard and teachers have little or no training at all. There are no properly developed systematic cooperation arrangements between companies and public TVET colleges.

Support for a dual training pilot project

Germany is supporting a pilot project for dual (school-based and industry-based) vocational training in South Africa. Five TVET colleges, in cooperation with 70 companies that provide training, are piloting training programmes for electricians and plumbers based on the dual system. The courses combine periods of practical training in companies with periods of classroom training at a TVET college. The college curricula and examination procedures were developed in collaboration with companies and trade associations. The aim is for the trainees to be offered permanent jobs by the companies involved once they have completed their training.

Financial Cooperation funding is used to provide equipment for training facilities and to develop in-service training plans. This is helping to improve the training and education of TVET college teachers.

Improving social infrastructure

In order to make South Africa’s envisaged exit from coal socially just, social infrastructure investments are planned under the development cooperation programme. This aims to benefit the country’s mine workers in particular, of which there are over 90,000. In addition, technical and vocational education and training programmes for young people will be improved, as will professional opportunities for women, and small and medium-sized companies will be promoted. Support will also be given to future centres of innovation, for example with regard to green hydrogen and electric vehicles.

Building “green technology” skills

The envisaged energy transition will lead to significantly higher demand for skilled staff in “green” industrial sectors. In order to help South Africa meet this demand, GIZ is working with the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) on model projects for the development of practice-oriented training programmes. Together with the private sector, efforts are being undertaken to improve the transfer of technology. One example is the new programme on renewable energy technologies in which students are now able to enrol at nine education facilities. It was first introduced in 2016.

As at: 25/08/2023