Unemployment has become a menace that requires urgent attention of the South African Society. To tackle this, the Deputy Higher Education Minister Mduduzi Manana has advised that young people who venture into universities should be sure they take up educational degrees that will fetch them good jobs in future.
In the “Decade of the Artisan” campaign held on Tuesday where over 1200 pupils from schools at the Capricorn Technical, Vocational, Education and Training (Tvet) college in Seshego attended, Manana said lack of artisan qualification will increase the rate of unemployment in the country.
According to the minister, the number of unemployed graduates in South Africa was at risk of increasing due to wrong career choices.
“We have 600 000 unemployed graduates in this country and if the number increase, it will cause chaos. When hunger strikes, they will come to your home and steal. When crime rises, we are in trouble.”
Manana expressed the need for artisan qualification in schools. To him, artisan qualification paves ways for youths to be employed by private sectors. “The reason we have so many unemployed graduates is because of minimal career counselling,” he added.
Manana further described an artisan to be a person who had been certified as competent to perform a listed trade, in accordance with the Skills Development Act. Also, that the shortage of artisans in the country was an obstacle to economic growth.
“If we don’t have [an artisan qualification], the rate of unemployment will be higher. Some learners are pursuing a university degree which is not marketable and they end up joining the unemployed because of lack of career counselling,” said Manana.
“We have 134 artisan trades [and] we have recruited more than 1 000 artisans from Thailand because we don’t have enough in our country. There is a demand for artisans in SA, but there is no demand for lawyers.
“We must strengthen industrialization. Eskom promised to take 100 artisans from the Capricorn Tvet College.”
The deputy minister quickly pointed that it was critical for pupils to choose careers in Grade 9. Artisans include bricklayers, electricians, millwrights, boilermakers, plumbers, fitters and turners, plasterers, welders and pipe fitters.
Manana further highlighted the requirements for becoming an artisan which include a minimum of 40% in Mathematics (excluding mathematical literacy) at Grade 9 level or National Certificate (Vocational) Level 2. Also, in the areas of civil, mechanical and electrical categories of trades, a minimum of 40% in the relevant N2 trade theory or the relevant vocational subjects of the National Certificate (Vocational) Level 2.
Deputy Education Minister, Manana therefore ended his statement by saying that the most important thing is for them to ensure that they choose careers that are scarce and highly needed in the economic society.
“The entire pathway ends with a trade test at a national trade test center that is accredited by the Quality Council of Trades and Occupations. In order to call yourself a qualified artisan, you must pass the trade test,” he added.