Skills Development

Access to vocational education and training and the labour market was used by the apartheid government as an instrument of oppression against the non-white population constituting approximately 90% of the population.

Economic engine

Afrikanische Schülerin Enlarge image (© picture-alliance/ dpa) The economic growth seen in the country in recent years was unable to significantly reduce the high unemployment rate. The shortfalls in education and training among the previously disadvantaged majority of the population is a major contributor to today’s skilled labour shortage. This shortfall hampers the country'S economic growth, limiting South Africa’s role as a driving force behind for the growth of rest of the continent.

Personal fate

Despite comprehensive structural reforms, the South African skills development system is not yet able to fully offset these deficits, both in terms of quality and quantity. The unskilled and poorly-skilled hardly have any prospects of finding formal employment. They either remain unemployed or are forced to find work in the informal sector of the labour market.

Focusing on demand

Bildungspartnerschaft Afrika Enlarge image (© Eric MIller) The German Government is committed to and involved in providing a better system of skills development and further education. Together with the established private sector, it promotes the legal and financial framework conditions of the skills development landscape. The objective is the introduction of a demand-driven workplace- orientated skills development system on local and regional level.


Bildungspartnerschaft Afrika Enlarge image (© Eric Miller) Since 2001, 6.3 million employees benefited from further education and 400,000 people have been trained for the formal labour market in long-term courses. 97% of them were able to obtain employment within 6 months. In addition, approximately 350,000 unemployed persons were trained in the informal labour market.

In the medium-term the programme should become the sole responsibility of the South African partners.

Skills Development

Bildungspartnerschaft Afrika