Turning TVET College Skills Into A Successful Career

In South Africa, discussions about higher education frequently centre on universities. However, technical vocational education and training (TVET) colleges play a significant role in the county’s higher education system. Here’s a quick primer on these frequently disregarded areas.

The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) oversees TVET colleges. They focus on vocational and occupational education and training with aim of preparing students to become functional workers in a skilled trade.

While universities demand a matric pass to earn a bachelor’s degree, TVET colleges admit students who have completed Grades 9, 10, 11, or 12. Some colleges offer up to 300 different courses.

These include learnerships, the NQF Full Time, NATED/Report 191, and the National Certificate (Vocational). A total of 50 public TVET colleges are currently registered and spread out around the nation.

This category of higher learning institutions is governed by the Continuing Education and Training Act 16 of 2006. Out of this total, 13 of them offer carpentry as one of their programmes.

Carpentry also serves as a valuable skill set that contributes to the betterment of society, particularly in historically disadvantaged communities such as those located in townships. Ayanda Tunce is a carpenter from Mfuleni, a township located along the Cape Flats region of the Western Cape.

He enrolled for his carpentry qualification in 2015 at Industry Education & Training (IETI), a vocational higher learning institution that offers a variety of artisan training courses. The course spanned 5 months.

Ayanda currently works as an intern at AN Building which is a local carpentry company based in Mfuleni that operates in all surrounding areas on a referral basis. The company was established by Levi AN to make a notable impact on the Mfuleni community by providing resourceful skills to community members as it expands in scope.

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While speaking to the Careers Portal in an interview, he stated that his knack for being able to work creatively with his hands to produce something that financially profits him while being appreciated by the recipient is what encourages him to pursue carpentry.

I figured if I could do something for others while supporting myself and my family financially then maybe I can make a proper difference in my community.

Ayanda advises anyone who is considering pursuing carpentry to ensure that they do it for the love of its associated craftsmanship, as that is when it will become a lucrative business skill.

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