Ilembe Chamber and Umfolozi TVET join forces

This partnership between the public and private sectors was confirmed with a signed memorandum of understanding

A SA milestone was set in Ballito last week, as the Ilembe Chamber of Commerce and the Umfolozi Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College agreed to join forces to optimise teaching and learning mandates.

This partnership between the public and private sectors was confirmed with a signed memorandum of understanding.

The memorandum was initiated by the college’s mission to make TVET education more responsive to the needs of all stakeholders, but especially business, ensuring that it makes a meaningful contribution to addressing national socio-economic goals.

According to the Ilembe Chamber of Commerce’s CEO, Cobus Oelofse, the agreement will facilitate and streamline the placement of students from the College on internships and apprenticeships with Chamber members.

From left, CEO of the iLembe Chamber of Commerce, Cobus Oelofse; principal of the Umfolozi TVET College, Sam Zungu; president of the iLembe Chamber, Xolani Gumede and programme manager, Kreishandwerkerschaft (Steinfurt and Warendorf, Germany) Oliver Petzoldt.
Photo: Karen MacRidge

“The two parties also agreed to collaborate to ensure that the Umfolozi College curricula is adapted to meet industry needs, current and long term, as well as ensuring that course content is more practical and relevant to industry.

“A further area of collaboration is the entrepreneurial support and development of students and business linkages. The Umfolozi College will also support the Chamber in the education and innovation activities of the Isithebe Business Cluster that was established for the Isithebe Business Park in Madeni,” said Oelofse.

He said the partnership collaboration was inspired by a study tour in 2016 to Germany, looking at their renowned dual vocational education and training model.

“The delegation from the national department of higher education and training, Umfolozi TVET College and the Ilembe Chamber was hosted by the Kreishandwerkerschaft, a trade and business association for the German districts of Steinfurt and Warendorf.

“It formed part of this association and the German government’s “Export of Education” initiative through which they share their know-how abroad.

“As part of the public/partnership collaboration with the Umfolozi College, Sembcorp Siza Water and the Chamber have already placed interns allowing these students to complete the 18 month practical and work exposure required as part of their qualifications.”

He said the challenge remains for them and the business community to ensure, in a district which is dominated by smaller enterprises, that SMEs get involved in the training of artisans and exposure for interns.

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