School students encouraged to consider artisanship

Pretoria - Higher Education and Training Deputy Minister Mduduzi Manana on Friday urged hundreds of high school learners and youth not in education or training to consider career paths in artisanship, saying it was cool to be an artisan in the 21st century.

He said if more youth took up artisanships, there would be a more skilled workforce to contribute to economic growth and development.

The Deputy Minister was speaking to the youth as the department rolls out the flagship project of the Decade of the Artisan (2014-2024) to the Western Cape. He has been travelling to provinces to advocate artisanship to youth, learners and employers.

The campaign aims to encourage more young people - high school learners and unemployed youth - to see artisanship as a career of choice. The slogan of the Decade of the Artisan is: “it’s cool to be a 21st century artisan”.

“As government, in particular the Ministry of Higher Education, our mandate is to establish a post-school education and training system that is responsive to needs of individual citizens and of employers in public and private sectors, as well as broader societal and developmental objectives,” Deputy Minister Manana said.

There is a continuous need for suitably qualified artisans to sustain industries and support economic growth within South Africa.

The National Development Plan indicates that by 2030 the country should be producing 30 000 qualified artisans per year, this target has been brought forward by the 2014 – 2020 Medium Term Strategic Framework to 31 March 2026.

At present the country is producing on average 13 000 qualified artisans per year and so the number has to more than double in the next twelve years leading up to 2026.