The post-schooling focus area initiates, supports and facilitates interventions to promote and support technical education and work-integrated learning.
Highlight of past and current interventions
Secretariat to the Provincial Transition Oversight Committee (PTOC)
PTOC was a sub-structure of the EC - HRD Council that acted as a common platform for colleges to interact and coordinate themselves on issues relating to transition. It also provided support and acted as an interface between government in its oversight responsibility to colleges during the transition and beyond. PTOC implemented some strategic interventions to help colleges deal with challenges around leadership and governance, curriculum delivery, student support services, lecturer development, human resources planning, etc.
Training and Vocational Education Colleges (TVET Colleges) Systemic Audit
TVET Colleges have a significant role in the production of skilled labour in particular artisans, in line with scarce and critical skills acquisition. In 2008, the Council took a decision to assess the current status quo in terms of capacity and constraints of what was then called Further Education and Training Colleges (FET colleges). The outcomes of the systemic audit focused on three levels:
- Policy level
- Gaps in the FET Act as certain regulations within the FET Act were missing
- Articulation between FET Colleges and HE needed to be addressed
- FET Lecturer qualification needed to be addressed (pre and in-service)
- Provincial level
- Setting up of Provincial Support Unit - to support the implementation of audit recommendations within the sector; develop a model suitable for the EC to ensure that the provincial priorities are taken in to consideration; support the national transitional processes.
- Conduct more detailed Skills Audit
- Institutional level
- Identified interventions for each College
Skills Audit of FET Colleges
The EC HRD Council mandated ECSECC to conduct a baseline survey on skills needs in all the eight TVET Colleges in the province. The research was part of a national research project into TVET college lecturers and FET college support/administration staff. ECSECC conducted the research in partnership with the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal (UKZN) and a range of sub-partners.
Findings of the project contributed to a national database for the TVET college sector and contributed towards the professionalization of TVET lecturers. The findings also contributed to shedding light on the available skills in the sector and in identifying particular areas for intervention. The study was published by ECSECC and shaped the discourse around lecturer development in the province.
The Vocational Education Orientation Program (VEOP)
ECSECC played a catalytic role in implementing the Vocational Education Orientation Program (VEOP), a 30-credit bearing programme. The programme aims to provide lecturers, particularly those who come from industry or university without a background in teaching and learning methodology, with an orientation on teaching methods.
Lecturers in the TVET sector have uneven levels of training to deal effectively with pedagogical aspects. The Vocational Educational Orientation Programme (VEOP) is an aspect of the draft National Framework for TVET Lecturer Development and Qualification and addresses this development need through an orientation programme. The VEOP forms part of a larger vocational training programme that holds 120 credits.
ECSECC engaged Walter Sisulu University, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, and University of Fort Hare, and FET colleges to design the curriculum and implement the pilot in the Eastern Cape.
Public Private Partnership (PPP) for Artisan Development
Vehicle manufacturers and their dealers are all placing greater demands on servicing technicians, because of the growth in electronics and interlinked mechanicals systems in today's vehicles. The comprehensive and sustained establishment and expansion of hands-on and practical vocational training was therefore, fundamental to the further expansion of regional infrastructure.
To this end, Mercedes-Benz South Africa Ltd, in close cooperation with Daimler AG in Stuttgart/Germany, supported the establishment of a hands-on, practical vocational training centre for automotive mechatronic technicians in cooperation with merSETA and the Eastern Cape Department of Education. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed in December 2009.
Key activities included the following:
- Nine lecturers/facilitators from various TVET Colleges from the province were sent to Germany to take part in a one-month "train-the-trainer" programme to become multipliers. On their return to South Africa, the participants were expected to transfer the knowledge to others.
- Engineering workshop in Buffalo City TVET College was upgraded and furnished with equipment from Daimler AG.
- An Integrated Expert (GTZ/CIM) was appointed to support the establishment of the training centre at the Buffalo City College
- Twenty students from across all TVET Colleges in the province were enrolled for a motor mechanic trade in 2015.
Efforts are underway to link the programme with other initiatives in the auto cluster.
Engineering Throughput Study at WSU and NMMU
The EC HRD Council, in partnership with Coega, NMMU, WSU, merSETA, CETA, business and the Engineering Council South Africa (ECSA) undertook research to address the challenges of low graduation in the field of engineering.
The research traced students at WSU and NMMU who were not registered but were near completion of their qualification. A database of students was compiled, indicating those who had interest in returning to institutions to complete their qualification, and those who were no longer interested.
The research product will be used by stakeholders to implement measures for re-enrolment of students to complete their qualification and ensure their placement to complete their experiential training component (P1/P2) of the programme. merSETA and the Office of The Premier entered into a funding agreement to assist students to access P1/P2.
Engagement with PICC for SIPs Skills Framework
EC HRD Council oversees the development and implementation of the SIPs Skills Framework in the province. The Council seeks to align all provincial HRD-related efforts towards supporting the implementation of the SIPs.
In partnership with OTP's PSDF and National Skills Authority, the Council convened a joint provincial infrastructure skills summit. The aim of the summit was to solicit inputs on the PICC SIPs Skills Framework from HRD stakeholders in the province.
The Council Secretariat also participates in the Infrastructure Skills Working Group, which is tasked with coordinating implementation of the SIP Skills Framework. The Secretariat also participates in national processes driven by DHET to drive skills development for SIPs.
Support to Technical High Schools
In 2013, the Council initiated a project to support Technical High Schools in the province. The initial focus was on welding trade working in partnership with Afrox. Welding was chosen because it is a skill required across a number of priority projects and industries in the province. The aim of the project is to put enough equipment in workshops and support learners until they exit the system as qualified welders.
At the time of writing this report, the Secretariat was coordinating partnerships with other relevant institutions to get the project started.
For more information about ECSECC's work in the post-schooling sector, please contact Ms Lusanda Bantwini.