Bilateral cooperation in vocational education and training

Nov 16, 2016

With the ninth Binational Commission (BNC) from November 15-16 in Berlin, Germany and South Africa would like to broaden their bilateral cooperation in various subject fields. Cooperation in the field of vocational education and training (TVET) is a significant item on the BNC agenda. The many successful projects are the result of this excellent, longstanding bilateral cooperation.

Vocational Training in Germany and South Africa

Vocational Training Enlarge image Vocational Training (© dpa/picture-alliance) The German model of vocational training includes a dual approach, meaning that apprentices are employed by a company for the duration of three years, gaining practical skills on the job while simultaneously acquiring theoretical knowledge in the classroom. This approach intends to equip graduates with the required competences to meet the needs of their future employer.

South Africa on the other hand, focuses more on transfering theoretical knowledge, varying in quality, instead. Due to the high youth unemployment rate, the South African government is highly interested in reinforcing the vocational education and training sector. The close cooperation with Germany could promote the quality and quantity of TVET in this country at the BNC.

Bilateral Cooperation

A participant from the 'Skills for Green Jobs' Project Enlarge image A participant from the 'Skills for Green Jobs' Project (© Skills for Green Jobs) The ressort management for TVET lies with the German Ministry of Education and Reseach (BMBF), whose strategic cooperation with the South African Department for Higher Education and Training (DHET) is mainly concerned with developing the „South African Institute for Vocational and Continuing Education and Training (SAIVCET). SAIVCET should become a national point of coordination for all activities in the South African TVET field.

To expand additional this action field, the BMBF and DHET have extended their cooperation agreement for a further three years. 

In the new memorandum of intent, activities of the German Ministries of Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and Food and Agriculture (BMEL) are taken into account.

The revised implentation plan stipulates the following areas of cooperation:

  • Further development of SAIVCET with a stronger focus on curriculum development,
  • BMZ/GIZ Projects “Skills development for a green economy” (SD4GE), “Skills for green jobs” (S4GJ) and “Basic entrepreneurial skills development” (BESD),
  • Promoting VET and providing urgent technical training and relevant equipment by the BMZ/KfW,
  • Inclusion of industry (German-Southern Africa Chamber of Commerce),
  • Evaluation of project ideas and teacher training,
  • Further agricultural training is reinforced by an expert from BMEL, who assists the South African Agricultural Department with reforming the agricultural VET

This year's BNC has contributed significantly to broadening the German-SA cooperation in the field of vocational education and training.

© German Embassy Pretoria

Binational Commission 2016: VET

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