Watch: Are Training Colleges Increasing the Skills Base in South Africa?

South Africa’s crisis of inequality is confounded by a shortage of skills amongst the general population.

As a result, the Department of Higher Education released a 20-year plan to increase the number of Technical, Vocational, Education and Training Colleges (TVETs) that focus on the development of vocational or mid-level skills.

Only half of those who enter the schooling system in South Africa actually graduate, making TVETS the perfect institution to absorb millions of youth who don’t complete school, as they meant to target school leavers with a minimum school qualification of grade nine.

However, SALDRU’s researchers find that whilst the increase in the number of people enrolling at TVETs was higher than at universities and other private institutions, the proportion enrolling in the tertiary education sector remained unchanged, suggesting that TVET colleges are not broadening their intake of the intended target group.

Thus, it can be surmised that the skills base is not expanding amongst the target population. Thousands of youth who drop out of school early remain adrift without further training.

Watch this National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS) video to find out what may be contributing to the problem. NIDS is a project of the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation implemented by SALDRU.

As the challenges facing South Africa’s youth are massive given widespread poverty and profound inequality, SALDRU is interested in understanding what happens to young people after they graduate from school.

Learn more about SALDRU’s work in post-schooling education. Our project, Siyaphambili, meaning ‘we are moving forward’, builds the base of empirical research on post-schooling education, communicates the findings and provides training in the use of data for research, planning and general awareness.