Briefing the media on learning and training opportunities provided through the Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) on Friday, Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande, said the NSF has committed R200m to the employment creation initiative between the Department of Higher Education and Training and the Department of Employment and Labour, through the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).
Nzimande said the project will benefit more than 5,000 unemployed youth.
A significant number of request for proposals has been posted in the press inviting skills development providers to participate in projects, which are targeting worker education and empowerment, and assistance for the community of people with disabilities.
“The total value of this project is in excess of R200m and will assist more than 2,000 beneficiaries,” Nzimande said.
He said the NSF has finalised an important policy, which will regulate unsolicited proposals, initiated by the skills development providers, through their skills development creativity and innovation.
“The area of NSF unsolicited proposals traverses and will fund a broad range of skills development providers, including churches and other cultural and community development. We have received a lot of these proposals, and they are currently being considered for due diligence purposes.
“The total amount allocated for the unsolicited proposals will exceed R1.5bn in this current financial year. We estimate that this will benefit more than 20,000 beneficiaries in various skills development areas.”
Nzimande said the department is also collaborating with the Catholic Church, through their Thabiso skills centres and the Methodist Church to provide much needed skills to communities.
“We further intend to partner with other faith based organisations to further our skills development drive.”
Nzimande will host a national Summit on Community Education and Training Colleges (CET), set to take place on 8-9 March 2022.
The summit, which is the first of its kind, is aimed at engaging with strategic partners in order for them to use community education learning centres to roll out skills programmes on a mass basis.
Nzimande said he wants the summit to identify priorities for dedicated CET infrastructure, accreditation of programmes, lecturer capacity, partnerships and information management systems for proper monitoring and reporting.
“I am highlighting this because all our SETAs will be playing a central role in supporting our CET sector in the massification of skills development in our country, especially aligned with the skills strategy.
“In our recent meeting with SETAs, we concretised their support for CET colleges in the short, medium and long-term community projects.
“For further training and skills development opportunities offered by SETAs, I invite all South Africans to interact with our SETAs through their websites and that of the Department of Higher Education and Training at www.dhet.gov.za.”
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