Why is this important?
One of the biggest challenges facing the Western Cape and the rest of the country is the millions of young South Africans who want to work but are unable to find employment. The Labour Force Surveys released by Stats SA on a quarterly basis reveal that the unemployment rate among youth (aged 15-34 years) is consistently higher than the adult unemployment rate in all provinces.
The Labour Force Surveys released by Stats SA on a quarterly basis revealed the following:
The unemployment rate among youth (aged 15-34 years) is consistently higher than the adult unemployment rate in all provinces. While the Western Cape has the lowest youth unemployment rate in the country, it still stands undesirably high at 29.9%.
At the same time, South Africa faces a major skills shortage in a number of key economic sectors, indicating a major mismatch in the supply and demand for skills. It is estimated that approximately half a million jobs remain vacant because of a lack of the appropriate skills.
Skills shortages are felt particularly in technical and vocational occupations (artisans) such as electricians, welders and mechanics, which is seriously hampering economic growth.
There are a number of reasons for these shortages, some of which include:
- Poor maths and science pass rates at schools;
- Lack of awareness of scarce skills and related employment opportunities;
- Negative societal perceptions of the status of technical and vocational careers
- and a shortage of funding and workplace based learning opportunities.
The Apprenticeship Game Changer aims to tackle these challenges in the province in order to increase to number of young people qualifying in technical occupations over the next few years.
How are we succeeding?
Number of learners entering in the workplace- 96% achievement of target.
Number of learners in the Western Cape completing workplace based training in targeted Game Changer occupations in the five priority economic sectors. The target is set for 11037 learners to conclude workplace experience by 2019
Number of Learners completing workplace based training - 86% achievement of target
Number of learners in the Western Cape entering workplace based training in targeted Game Changer occupations in the five priority economic sectors. The target is set for 13 221 learners to conclude workplace experience by 2019
What are we doing?
The Game Changer focuses on meeting the skills demand within three priority sectors identified by the WCG’s economic growth strategy, Project Khulisa, as having the greatest potential to drive economic growth and create jobs. These are: Oil & Gas, Tourism and Agri-processing. Two key enabling sectors are also included under the Game Changer namely, Renewable Energy (and Water) and Information Communications Technology (ICT) sectors.
Apprenticeships under the Game Changer refer to all work place based learners who will qualify as professional, artisans or semi-skilled workers who achieve qualifications, part qualifications and top-up qualification for occupations required in our priority sectors.
The overall targets are:
- 13 122 learners entering work place based learning opportunities; and
- 11 307 qualified apprentices entering the labour market within these sectors by 2019
In order to meet these targets, we also need to increase the number of quality learners who are attracted to technical and vocational occupations. Our aim is to increase the number of learners who achieve more than 50% maths in the WCED Technical High Schools and Maths, Science and Technology Schools (71 in total).
The Western Cape has worked with employers to identify the technical and vocational jobs most needed in our five priority sectors in the province and are now focusing on ensuring there are sufficiently skilled young people to meet this demand.
Our three key focus areas to ensure we meet our targets are:
- Ensuring that learners leave school with the qualifications that employers want – most important is a 50% or more matric maths result. Therefore, we are escalating maths support to learners in our Technical High Schools and Maths, Science and Technology Schools. We are also funding maths support interventions in TVET Colleges;
- Changing the attitudes of learners, parents and teachers towards technical and vocational careers. It is critical that citizens need to see these as important and attractive opportunities, as they are seen in some the world’s best and fastest growing economies, like Germany, India and Vietnam, so that we can increase the number of young people pursuing technical and vocational careers. The Western Cape Government has been running an extensive communications drive with a particular focus on our Technical High Schools and Maths, Science and Technology Schools to encourage our youth to study towards apprenticeships in our priority sectors; and
- Getting Employers committed to a “learn and earn” model of training and increasing the number of young people in formal apprentices and other training opportunities linked to the workplace. We are running a communications campaign encouraging employers to take on apprentices. As part of this campaign, we have also partnered with the provincial government’s Red Tape Reduction Unit to make it easier for Employers to take on apprentices.
What can you do?
- If you are a young person (or parent) interested in finding out about the many technical and vocational opportunities available in our five priority sectors, you can visit our Career Awareness site;
- If you are an Employer and are interested in finding out more about taking on Apprentices, you can contact the Game Changer team by calling 021 483 9278.
- If you are an Employer who is experiencing problems when it comes to taking on apprentices, you can contact the Red Tape Reduction Unit by calling 0861 888 126 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org