Friday 7 September 2018

Innovative Campaign to Support Youth Employment Targets the Public TVET College Sector

Many of you may have heard of the likes of Harambee, Mentec, Careerbox, the EOH Youth Job Creation Initiative and the Impact Sourcing Academy in the ongoing discussions about South Africa's youth unemployment crisis.
The WorkFit Campaign
These organisations reflect new approaches to supporting youth employment by crafting a much closer link with employer talent needs, than is commonly seen in public education systems around the world.

While many people would agree that employment is not the sole purpose of education, an education system that fails to result in at least some form of employability for its students is surely failing them (and the country that funds it) on a fundamental level.

The Rockefeller Foundation supported significant research into the causal dynamics of youth unemployment and developed an initiative - Digital Jobs Africa - that tackled both the supply-side and demand-side features of this phenomena.

Many government led initiatives to reduce youth unemployment focus only on the supply-side dimension (education and incentives) because the demand-side dimension (recruitment and enterprise development) is typically in the hands of private sector stakeholders who hire new entrants to the workforce and expand business operations.

Digital Jobs Africa tackled both the supply and demand dimensions of youth unemployment across 6 African countries between 2013 - 2017, with an emphasis on placing high potential, but disadvantaged youth, into entry level digital jobs.
The initiative was successful in co-ordinating a wide range of stakeholders towards a common purpose and deploying a research-based shared methodology with a clear business case.
However the public education system in South Africa could not directly participate in DJA due to the novel and complex nature of the changes it would have required of them, in a short period of time.

Fortunately for our public TVET colleges, the DJA initiative has given South Africa a toolkit and a campaign to help them understand how they can adapt their college environments and programmes to develop greater youth employability. The WorkFit Campaign runs from November 2017 - June 2018 and offers a free download of the WorkFit Toolkit, to guide colleges in understanding demand-driven training. 

The Toolkit is based on a research framework developed by studying the best practices of the top ten global demand-driven training providers (the organisations mentioned at the top of the article are four of those organisations), and is available as a free download from

If you are part of the broader youth employability ecosystem, you can follow WorkFit on LinkedIn and Twitter for updates, and if you are a TVET college lecturer or support staff, be sure to attend one of their monthly public workshops on the Toolkit.

Making Cents International developed the Demand Driven Training Toolkit (DDTT) with support from the Rockeller Foundation. The WorkFit Toolkit is the local adaptation of the DDTT. You can visit the global version of the Toolkit here and can find more information on MCI's work here.

Monday 6 November 2017

New Work Readiness Guide for public TVET colleges and students

The Department of Higher Education & Training (DHET) has published Ikusasa Lami (My Future) to support the work readiness of public TVET college students.

The development of the publication was sponsored by the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) and authored by myself with great inputs and improvements throughout the process by the DHET Student Development and Support Directorate.

The publication can be searched, downloaded and embedded in your own website using the following HTML code:
<div style="text-align: center;"><iframe height="550" width="425" src=""></iframe><p style="text-align: center; font-size: .8em;"><a href="" target="_blank">View more on edocr</a></p></div>
Please use the above code to embed the publication in your website, rather than downloading it and re-upping it, as the Department can learn a lot about the effectiveness of the publication through the analytics provided by edocr, which hosts the publication. This information will help us publish new editions of the book that have greater impact.

Ikusasa Lami is made available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. This means it can be published for non-profit purposes provided that attribution is made to the publisher, the Department of Higher Education & Training. To understand more about the license visit: .

This post will be updated with additional information on the publication in the weeks to come.

Wednesday 6 April 2016

Event - National Skills Authority Roundtable on the New Skills Development Landscape

The National Skills Authority (NSA) has been tasked with advising the Minister of Higher Education & Training on the proposed new skills development landscape, which comes into effect from March 2018.

To advise the Minister on how stakeholders feel about the proposals, the NSA has been conducting nation-wide public hearings to provide information on the proposals, encourage discussion around the impact of the changes and gather feedback for the Minister.

Yesterday's roundtable at the Midrand Conference Centre in Johannsburg was aimed at a wide variety of organisations which play important roles in the post-schooling sector. The NSA provided feedback on the public hearings and gave the organisations an opportunity to share their views on the proposals, and answer questions from the audience.

You can download the event presentations later in this post.

Wednesday 28 October 2015

Proposed New Skills Development Landscape

The Department of Higher Education & Training (DHET) published on 10 November 2015 a draft proposal for a new National Skills Development landscape which would take effect on 1 March 2018.

The proposal is a government gazette with a deadline of 20 January 2016 for public comments.

With National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS) III finishing its five year life-span in 2016 (now extended to March 2018), it was expected that a fine-tuning of the key skills development institutions would take place to support the new NSDS. The proposed new landscape is however a significant evolution in the institutional landscape and one which therefore requires significant consideration and discussion among stakeholders.