Cape Town – There is hope for matriculants still looking for a spot at a university.Those who qualified for higher education but had not been offered a place by the time their matric results had been released, and those eligible to study but missed their deadlines to apply, could contact 0800 35 66 35.They could also send an SMS with their name, ID number and contact number to 49200. They would be phoned back free of charge. Institutions would then contact them to offer them unfilled places.Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said on Monday that the service, a Central Application Clearing House, would be available to help prospective students until February.The clearing house also offered general career information services and advice on colleges and artisanal training.Matriculants who wanted to become artisans - such as a motor mechanics, hair dressers, chefs or plumbers - could register online at the National Artisan Development Support Centre, or with its call centre on 011 736 4400.Matriculants who did not pass well enough to study towards being an artisan could register for a bridging course at college. To get into one of the artisan courses offered at college, a minimum mark of 50% for Maths and Science was required."Artisan work has become much more technically advanced and requires higher skill levels," Nzimande said.The National Artisan Development Programme had a "generic trade preparation programme" as a bridging course.It included subjects like Mathematics, Engineering Science, Electronics, Life Orientation, and Computer Skills.Pupils who wanted to start working immediately had learnerships, skills programmes and apprenticeships to choose from.The Technical Vocational Educational and Training colleges offered programmes through apprenticeship or learnership agreements between the colleges, the student, and employers.There were bursaries available for some courses.