Background to the Coastal TVET College Project:
The fit-for-purpose skills analysis conducted by CHIETA through its Sector Skills Planning and related mechanisms have revealed that industry is willing to work closely with public institutions where there can be partnerships formed to address the world of work, both in terms of curriculum re-packaging, and enhancing understandings about the requirements of the workplace. In this regard, CHIETA conceptualized and brought together partners from industry and the Coastal TVET College in the Durban South Basin to, as a start collaborate on the training of youth as Chemical Plant Operators and Welders.
Companies from the Chemical industry are the main players, however CHIETA is pleased to announce that other companies also working with artisan training have shown interest in this project. The training partnership between CHIETA, Coastal KZN TVET College and 23 Chemical companies have commenced. Learners, mainly unemployed youth, will obtain theoretical training at the TVET College with inputs into the packaging of the curriculum from the companies, and they will obtain their work-experience component from the companies. This partnership will expose the learners to the chemical industry and is set to create employment for the youth.
Re-packaging the training program:
The training programme is made up of in two components. In the theoretical/knowledge component and workplace component for which training is provided by companies. 80 learners have been enrolled for Chemical Operations, and 10 learners for Welding. The training program is made up of some of the NATED subjects offered by Coastal KZN TVET College, together with the theory component of the Learnership, National Certificate in Chemical Operations (Levels 1, 2 and 3). After a three year period it is expected that the learners will exit the programme sufficiently equipped with knowledge, competencies as well as 15 months of workplace experience, to obtain employment in the chemical sector. The ten welding learners doing NQF Level 2 will progress to Level 3 and 4 and thereafter write a Trade Test.
Optimizing the curriculum:
CHIETA, the companies and Coastal TVET College opted to ensure that they re-package the curriculum modules that ensure that all areas of learning that industry requires are included so as to ensure industry confidence by co-designing the curriculum based on existing registered learning offerings, and combining them in a meaningful way to obtain a well-rounded graduate that is work-ready.
The curriculum design has therefore integrated academic learning and industry based learning. The training interventions are well structured monitored and will be assessed. This model ensures that the industry component is properly executed, as the time spent at industry will be no less than 15 months during the full training period. With 18 months being allocated over the 3 years to the knowledge and practical components at the College. During the 3rd trimester of Year 1, learners will have the opportunity for industry visits and guest lecturers from Industry will provide classes for the learners.
CHIETA is pleased to announce that a pilot plant for the practical training of the Chemical operations students is being designed by local industry at Coastal KZN TVET College. Employers will be able to introduce modules specific to their operating plants as well as expose learners to these plants during their 15 months of hosting. This model will also allow for easy employment opportunities, as companies will have long contact periods with the learners that they will be training.
Companies involved in the project
Currently approximately 20 companies are actively involved in the project, providing guidance around fit for purpose curriculum, releasing subject matter experts from their worksites to fill in as guest lecturers and allowing experts and engineers to design a pilot plant (for simulation) at the campus of Coastal TVET. It is a project that has strong participation from Industry. Trade unions that have membership within the companies concerned have been supportive too.
CHIETA approved Project Outcomes:
Project proposal was approved by CHIETA for 100 bursaries for Coastal College learners.
Orientation/Induction of students was conducted on the 6 May 2015.
Students were addressed by College and CHIETA.
NATED stream registration has been completed.
Medicals have been concluded.
Programme started on 1 June 2015.
Pilot plant design is in progress, using local Industry experts and Engineers.
Plant tours and visits by guest lecturers planned to take place in September 2015.
During this period subject matter experts lectured to the students at the college site on plant specific matters.
The plant tours provided an opportunity to expose learners to real worksites.
This tour was highly successful and achieved its objective, learners were exposed to the workplace and engaged with subject matter experts.
The project launch will be on the 21 October 2015.
Finally, it is becoming clear that occupationally directed training based on strong linkages with industry is a value-adding model that promotes high quality training that is accepted with confidence by industry and all role-players, and that the vision of the White Paper on Post School Education and Training has been taken seriously by CHIETA and is being very successfully rolled out.
CHIETA has entered this Project into the African Union Partnership competition as an outstanding model of an Industry/TVET partnership on the African Continent.
Ayesha Itzkin, CHIETA CEO (Acting)