Restructuring The Education System
After the democratic elections in 1994, the government inherited a fragmented education and training system with embedded inequality, which reflected serious underinvestment. The new regime placed a priority on the transformation of the education system, as integral to the development of a democratic society. This priority led to the restructuring of the entire education and training system to overcome the racial, gender and anti-poor bias to ensure alignment with the new constitution.
The Government identified that sustained economic growth is essential for societal transformation and one of the priority areas for supporting economic growth was skills development to ensure sufficient and relevant skills to support growth and transformation.
According to Kraak (2007), there continues to be a disconnection between employment opportunities and the needs of the economy. In the past few years, the rate of economic growth is outstripping the ability of institutions to provide the necessary skills for this growth.
To address this challenge, the Government has identified that the major drivers for the Vocational Education and Training (VET) strategy are “employability, entrepreneurship, efficiency and sustainability, the support of economic development and the creation of national wealth and contributing to poverty alleviation.” This strategy addresses the fact that young people are the dominant group of unemployed (70%) and represent the largest group of long-term unemployed individuals.