Germany’s KfW Development Bank and the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) signed an agreement to – establish
the first in-service skills development centre for TVET lecturers at Ekurhuleni East College. The agreement, which is part of the bilateral development cooperation between Germany and South Africa, provides for a grant to DHET in the amount of € 8.25 million
(136 million ZAR). The center will offer training for lecturers from TVET colleges across South Africa in the fields of electrical and mechanical engineering. These areas offer potential for employment and growth of South Africa’s manufacturing sector. The center is intended to improve quality of teaching and address shortfalls at TVET colleges and, ultimately, South Africa’s critical youth unemployment crisis. The project will feed into current policy reform processes by the DHET in the TVET lecturer qualification field and will help address minimum qualification requirements and the development of a framework for Continuous Professional Development (CPD). Lecturers’ qualifications will be more relevant to the marketplace and contribute to graduates’ employ-ability.

“There couldn’t be a better moment than today. We all strive to kick- start our economies in the middle of the pandemic. We need growth, we need employment opportunities and we need bright young people with the right skills. Vocational training is probably the best means to achieve these noble objectives. That’s why we want to strengthen and capacitate South African TVET colleges. We are in this together,” said German Ambassador Martin Schäfer.

“We look forward to supporting the South African government to improve the quality of teaching by college lecturers and to strengthen links with industry in order to enhance employment opportunities for young people,” said Dr Thomas Duve, Director of Southern Africa at KfW. Turning to the broader context, Gerda Magnus, Chief Director Curriculum Innovation at DHET, explained that, in terms of the National Strategic Framework for the implementation of the National

Development Plan (NDP), the DHET’s main objective is to ensure that there is skilled and capable workforce to support economic growth.
Magnus stated: “It is the mission of the DHET to develop capable, well-educated and skilled citizens who can compete in a sustainable, diversified and knowledge-intensive international economy which meets the development goals of the country.” Germany has contributed approx. 35 billion ZAR in official development assistance to South Africa since 1993. Current cooperation focuses on the priority areas of green economy, technical and vocational education and training/skills development, good governance and public administration, as well as HIV prevention.

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Steffen Scholz
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German Embassy Pretoria
Phone: +27 (0) 78 096 0172