The multi-million-rand Motheo TVET College National Artisan Academy is envisaged to bridge the skills gap in the field of engineering and create a pathway for entrepreneurship. The academy is a partnership with the Services Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) and the Motheo College. It was launched on 15 March by the stakeholders.As one of the chief stakeholders, Services SETA has funded R500 million towards the construction and capacitating the academy. In terms of the partnership, the Motheo TVET College will manage the academy which is over 49 000 m² in size. It has three workshops, student accommodation with 372 beds and experiential trade testing centres, an administration apartment, kitchen and dining hall as well as recreational facilities. The facility also makes provision for a computer laboratory and a student centre with convenience shops. The academy responded to research by Adzuna South Africa (adzuna.co.za) in 2016, which identified science, technology, engineering and mathematics as the main skills to ensure a good job, stable career and better-than-average salaries as well as prospects of entrepreneurship. Adv. Xolile Xuma, chairperson of the Motheo College, said the academy was the result of the continuous need for suitably qualified artisans to sustain industries and support economic growth in the country. “In 2016 Motheo approached Services SETA as the college was constrained by its existing training facilities and artisan training. The favourable response by Services SETA is also a strategic plan to expand colleges, thereby contribute towards the 2013 national development plan mandate of government and other related spheres that include the supply of 30 000 artisans annually,” said Xuma.“We conducted research with the University of the Free State, Central University of Technology, Free State, and lecturers of Motheo doing Masters’ and PH degrees as well as Services SETA. Research was on curriculums and trades occupation relating to SA’s skills demand. “The project will serve the entire country. It is time SA have its own artisans instead of importing from other countries,” said Dipiloane Phutsisi, principal of the Motheo College.