Cisco and Huawei Equips TVET Colleges Lecturers with Digital Skills

Dr Blade Nzimande, Minister for Higher Education, Science and Innovation, said he was pleased with the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), interventions in the post-school education and training sectors.

This is in addition to the progress made by colleges, universities, and Sector Education and Training Authorities.

He said the Department of Higher Education and Training has collaborated with CISCO and Huawei to align the existing Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges’ curriculum with industry demands in the digital skills area.

“Under the CISCO agreement, at least 300 lecturers are being trained in our 50 TVET colleges to upgrade their skills on Information Communication Technology (ICT) related National Certificate Vocational NC (V) qualifications.

“Under the Huawei agreement, lecturers currently at 32 TVET colleges are being trained to support the introduction of subjects such as Routing & Switching, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, WLAN [wireless local-area network], and Security and Cloud Computing,” Nzimande said on Thursday.

Programmes aligned to ERRP priority areas

Nzimande stated that colleges have identified occupational programs to be implemented for the purpose of aligning with the priority sectors as stipulated by the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan.

This is done in partnership avec the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations, (QCTO), and INDLELA (support center for artisan development South Africa).

“These programmes will be supported through funding from SETAs and the National Skills Fund (NSF), guided by research undertaken through the Labour Market Intelligence Partnership (LMIP) and Sector Skills Plans (SPPs), which highlighted the growing demand for digital and ICT skills across a variety of job roles.”

The Minister stated that one of the provisions in the ERRP Skills Strategy was to expand access to short programmes as well as full qualifications necessary for South Africa’s economic growth.

“This demands that quality councils introduce greater flexibility in their approval processes to ensure faster turnaround for timely approval and accreditation of programmes to respond to changes and innovations in ICT related fields,” he said.

Global business services: Demand-led skilling model

The Minister said that with support from the Presidential Employment Stimulus of R100million, the Minister also stated that the NSF manages the rollout of a demand-led skillsing model for global business services and ICT.

“This initiative is expected to be expanded in future years through insourcing funding from other public and private sector funders,” the Minister said.

Agriculture Sector Education and Training Authority

Nzimande also pointed out that the Agriculture Sector Education and Training Authority, (AgriSETA), used the 4IR interventions in order to prioritize occupations within the agriculture sector.

“4IR interventions were introduced in the occupations which include Industrial Mechanician, Planning Managers (Manufacturing), Processing Unit Managers, Plant Managers (Manufacturing), Engineering Managers, Agricultural Engineering Technicians, Agricultural Product Processing Engineering Technologists, Crop Production Mechanization Engineering Technologists, Environmental Protection Professionals and Conservation Scientists.

“These occupations are directly linked to 4IR where the integration of various technologies assist farmers in increasing efficiencies [and] form part of AgriSETA’ s priority occupations, and are prioritised in the 2022/23 financial year through funding of bursaries, graduate placement and leadership,” Nzimande said.

Qualifications for cyber security

Nzimande revealed that the Banking Sector Education and Training Authority BANKSETA has created occupational qualifications to meet the growing demand for formal qualifications in cybersecurity.

He stated that the qualifications would be registered with the QCTO.

“A training programme in cyber security was implemented and recently the SETA also started to train high school students on skills for the future which include Coding, Software Programming and Data Science.

“The BANKSETA allocated funds to re-skill and or upskill employees whose roles may be impacted by automation, artificial intelligence, and the increased need for data analytics. There is dedicated funding allocated to IT related skills and some of the programmes funded which include Data Management, Cobit 5 and Analysing Data,” the Minister said. –

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