Eastern Cape Socio-Economic Consultative Council

Seminar promotes artisan development and entrepreneurial skills

Published: April 16, 2024

The Eastern Cape Human Resource Development Council (EC-HRDC) on Friday, 12 April 2024 hosted an Artisan Development Seminar to pilot a two-way approach of developing artisans and empowering them with entrepreneurial skills. 

The theme of the seminar was: "Artisan 4.0: A Futurist Approach to Training Artisans with Entrepreneurial  Astuteness” and was attended by stakeholders critical to artisan development from the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), TVET colleges, business, and provincial government.  

The seminar comes at a time when DHET is phasing out historical qualifications at TVET Colleges in South Africa commonly known as NATED / REPORT 191 and replacing them with occupational qualifications that are fit for purpose to not only meet the needs of existing and emerging sectors of the economy but also to ensure that colleges produce graduates empowered with entrepreneurial 
skills to create opportunities for themselves and others.

This is in response to research and engagements with industry and employers, which have shown that historical qualifications offered by TVET Colleges in South Africa are plagued with challenges such as outdated syllabus that is non-responsive to the world of work, minute contribution to the development of the local economy, and inadequate adaptiveness to the changing skills environment precipitated by the 4IR disruptions.

The EC-HRD Council through multisectoral collaborations, works to address the core labour market challenge of mismatch between skills supply and skills demand so that education and training results in increased skills acquisition, improved rate of labour absorption into productive employment, and an entrepreneurial society.

Entrepreneurial activity in the country is low despite its potential to chart the economy towards an upward trajectory. The seminar also come hot in heels of a Baseline study on Student entrepreneurship conducted by the EC-HRD Council which focused on the eight TVET colleges in the province. 

The aim of the study was to develop a model for entrepreneurship promotion in TVET colleges. The study found that only 2% of graduates during the five-year study period ventured into entrepreneurship and 52% are unemployed. 

Graduates cited lack of resources, market access, curriculum shortcomings, skills gap, insufficient awareness about entrepreneurship, and employment reliance as some of their hindrances to pursuing entrepreneurship.

Friday’ seminar reflected on the implications of the rapid changes on artisan development, and on how best the post-schooling sector could be better positioned to respond effectively.

The seminar also had a panel discussion on policy and strategy imperatives for driving artisan entrepreneurship agenda. Speaker on this panel were Jowie Bopape from DHET and Charles Pule from Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO).  A second panel showcased innovative artisan entrepreneurship initiatives and the role of business development support. Speakers on this panel were Anganathi Tsharane an artisan entrepreneur and CEO of Zithulele Electrical, ECSECC Board member Zolile Tini and CEO of Allan and Gill Gray Philanthropy Zimkhitha Peter.

According to the Deputy Principal of the Buffalo City TVET College Tuletu Njengele the seminar was engaging. "It afforded us the platform for us to engage as a province to look at how we infuse entrepreneurship into our programmes to ensure that we produce artisans who are entrepreneurial.” 

You can view PDFs of PowerPoint presentations here
You can view pictures of stakeholders in the seminar here
You can watch highlights of the seminar here 

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