Higher Education and Training Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande and North West Premier, Supra Mahumapelo have officially opened the first of its kind skills development centre in North West.
The centre will see learners from all four districts of the province acquiring skills in, amongst others, cosmetology, hairdressing, business administration, bricklaying, plumbingand welding.
Speaking during the launch in Klerksdorp yesterday, Minister Nzimande said he would be pleased to see the provincial government developing closer relationships with institutions such as Taletso, Vuselela and the North-West University as part of skills providers in the province.
He also called for closer relationship between institutions of learning and employers, including the public sector.
“We want government to take keen interest in opening up workplaces for work integrated learning, internships and artisans. If we do not open up our working places, we will not have skills development. We will end up with students coming out from our institution with theoretical certificates only but with no practical work experience,” said the minister.
For his part, Premier Mahumapelo called on all the Sector Education Training Authorities (SETA) to support the Youth Entrepreneurship Services (YES) established in the Office of the Premier with a view to advance young people.
“Youth Entrepreneurship Services is there to ensure that we equip our young people with relevant skills and capacity to become employers and not employees.
“We are thus going to request our SETAs to work with us in ensuring that we deal with scarce skills that relate to geographic information system, Information Communication Technology, internal auditing, accounting and economics, tourism and the health sciences, among others,” said Premier Mahumapelo.
Nzimande and Mahumapelo were accompanied by North West MEC for Public Works and Roads, Madoda Sambatha and Services SETA Accounting Authority Chairperson, Themba Mhambi, among others.
Meanwhile, the Office of the Premier together with the South African Department of Defence and Military Veterans has commenced with the youth camp in Potchefstroomwith a view to link young people to skills development opportunities, job opportunities and enterprise development opportunities.
According to the Director of Youth Entrepreneurship Services in the Office of the Premier, Thapelo Sekawana, the camp being held in Potchefstroom commended on the 02nd of March and will conclude on the 06th of March 2016.
Sekawana says the camps will cover 19 local municipalities across the province until November 2016, targeting 200 youth for each camp.