South Africa to look at ‘German system’ for jobs: Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa has said his government wants to take aspects of the German education and training system and apply them in South Africa.

Ramaphosa was speaking at a press conference on Tuesday May 24, where he welcomed German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on an official visit.

“We look forward to deepening trade and investment ties with Germany. We anticipate constructive discussions around the green economy, clean energy and building climate resilience as we embark on new new technologies such as hydrogen and other renewables,” Ramaphosa said.

“Another area of ​​our relationship that we would like to develop is that of education and vocational training. We have a lot to learn from the German dual training model and how German companies integrate training for young people into the working environment.

In April 2022, Ramaphosa announced a new program which will ensure that education and training programs are directly linked to the jobs needed in South Africa.

He said a major constraint to growth and employment in the country is the relatively low level of skills in the country and the inadequate outcomes of the education system.

“The resulting skills gap also contributes significantly to inequality and undermines efforts to end the intergenerational cycle of poverty. The only sustainable way to close the skills gap is to dramatically improve the performance of all levels of our education system.

“Part of this is to ensure that there is a strong link between the skills and competences produced and those required in the economy. We have launched several programs to link training to workplace experience and employment.

Ramaphosa said the job change will see the Department of Further Education and Training place 10,000 unemployed TVET graduates in the workplace from April 2022.

The German system

Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande has previously indicated that the government plans to follow the “German system” for training workers in the country.

Presenting his department’s 2021 budget vote, Nzimande said the initiative will help South Africa build a system aligned with its needs in the 21st century.

“Such skills development will be underpinned by an apprenticeship-based higher education system, similar to the dual system in Germany,” he said.

“This project will see more of our young people absorbed into the workplace, while learning the required technical skills, in a meaningful partnership between the PSET system and industry.”

A number of other countries are also planning to copy the country’s dual education system, where more than half of German students enter vocational and educational training (VET) programs on a work-study basis as a route to higher education. job.

Students have the option to choose from 326 professional trades, including diamond cutters, aircraft mechanics, and even chimney sweeps.

Apprenticeships are standardized across the country – every product designer must study the same textbooks and become familiar with the same design tools – so job prospects don’t vary greatly from college or company to company. the other. Most join their training company after three years of low-paid work and study.


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Clifton L. Boyd