News clipping – The Sunday Tribune – 3 October 2010

Human potential wastage to end

At present more than three million youths, aged between 18 and 24, are unemployed and not in an educational institute or receiving skills training, while another three million over 24 are in a similar position.

This is according to John Pampallis, a special adviser to the Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande, who described this as “wasted human potential”.

For this reason the government plans to expand the number of institutes of higher learning in the next five years so that the growing demand of enrolment and the economy can be met.

The department aims to accommodate one million students in further education and training colleges by 2014, including part-time students and those taking short courses. Places, for adult education, are also set to increase from the present 60 000 to 300 000 by 2014.
“Vocational and operational skills are the most in demand at adult education institutions. We also want to increase the number of artisans through apprenticeships as a long-term goal,” said Pampallis, adding another initiative was work-based training for the youth.
“We have engineering students who need to graduate, but they are unable to find companies to accommodate them. This leaves them, with no qualification, despite the shortage of engineers.”

By Charmel Bowman