artisan2BL Premium writes that the African Development Bank (AfDB) has agreed to provide R6.2m from its middle-income countries’ grant to fund an enterprise development pilot project in four technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges in Ekurhuleni, the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga.  

The pilot project, being spearheaded by the Department of Trade & Industry with the AfDBank, aims to shift TVET colleges from churning out employable students to producing tradespeople who are ready to start their own businesses after qualifying.  As such, it incorporates two additional elements in vocational training: students spend half of their time working in industry and are given starter kits — a toolbox they need in their trade — allowing them to immediately take up small-scale contracts in their field of work.  The students also work with local SMEs and students in other disciplines and are given resources to form multidiscipline businesses while at college.  For instance, in college workshops building, plumbing and electrical students work on a single project as subcontractors would in a real-world scenario.  It is said that if this pilot works as envisaged, it could inject life into SA’s vocational college system.  

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