Gauteng throws lifeline to FET graduates

2013-11-28 13:50

The Gauteng provincial government has thrown a lifeline to some 3 000 further education and training (FET) college graduates by providing them with experiential training.

All FET colleges require students to have between six and 12 months of experiential or on-the-job training before they can get their qualifications.

Thousands of FET learners are languishing at home and have not been able to get their qualifications as they have not been able to secure workplace training.

Now, Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane has come to their rescue by agreeing that FET learners acquire their experiential training in different departments, companies and entities affiliated to the provincial government.

Announcing the ground-breaking deal at the Standard Bank Arena in Joburg today, Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Ndzimande said: “This is a very important day in the history of education ... We all have been waiting for this moment. This is not only an opportunity for them to acquire the necessary skills, but they can also network with those who are already in industries.”

Government, he said, was concerned about youth unemployment and was looking for ways to defeat it. “The placement of graduates is part of my strategy to create a seamless transition from institutions to the workplace.”

He said there were about 18 000 FET graduates requiring workplace experience across the country, of which 4 000 were in Gauteng. “This initiative goes a long way towards addressing that.”

Government was very serious about making the FET colleges work, he said, adding that universities were not the only places to acquire skills. “In fact, some of the many skills we need in this country can only be acquired at FETs.”

For example, he said the motor industry was short of 10 000 qualified motor mechanics. “They [the industry] will partner with us to provide such training at FET colleges.”

Nzimande urged premiers in other provinces to do the same.

Mokonyane warned learners not to disappoint and to finish their training and make way for others.

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