Premier’s Council on Skills looks at immense potential of innovation | Western Cape Government


Premier’s Council on Skills looks at immense potential of innovation

1 March 2024

Media Release: Premier’s Council on Skills looks at immense potential of innovation and technology to promote job creation

Premier Alan Winde chaired the first Premier’s Council on Skills (PCS) of 2024 at the University of the Western Cape’s Innovation Hub.

The PCS is a consultative forum that is responsible for the coordination of skills development in the Western Cape.

At previous gatherings of the council:

  • A new Solar Photovoltaic (SPV) qualification pilot project was launched in the province; and
  • The Western Cape Government (WCG) resolved to further roll out the dual vocational and occupational system.

The Innovation Hub is a leading educational facility for augmented and virtual reality in South Africa and Africa. 

One of the key Priority Focus Areas of the Western Cape Government’s (WCG) Growth For Jobs strategy, and the theme of this PCS, is innovation and technology.

Premier Winde said, “The PCS is as much about building and deepening partnerships as it is about promoting skills development and equipping residents with the knowledge they need to prosper. This spectacular Innovation Hub is a product of such collaboration, that is instilling in our youth an appreciation for the growing potential of the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’. We should actually already be thinking about the ‘Fifth Industrial Revolution’ as we are confronted with the growing needs of the future.”

Through collaboration with partners such as UWC, the WCG will be able to further drive skills development in innovation and particularly artificial intelligence (AI).

“Tertiary education institutions are brimming with young talent keen on exploring the latest groundbreaking technology. We must enable them – through partnerships - to take advantage of all that innovation offers,” said Premier Winde, adding, “I welcome UWC and its Innovation Hub’s vision of improving entrepreneurship and career opportunities in this rapidly growing and evolving industry.”

Addressing the council, Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities Mireille Wenger remarked that it is through relentless innovation that we distinguish ourselves as leaders in the global arena. She said, “Innovation and technology are not merely a privilege but a necessity in today’s rapidly evolving landscape where we must embrace emerging technologies to keep fuelling our job creation and economic growth successes in the Western Cape.”

Premier Winde’s love of technological gadgets meant that he was thrilled to be given a tour of the facility. He was able to test out some of the high-tech “toys” that make up the hub. “This is the kind of equipment that takes hold of so many young people’s imaginations, giving them a glimpse into the power of innovation,” he concluded.