Sisipho Portia Lolwana (24) says studying at a Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college provides her with the opportunity of learning the theory and acquiring practical skills she will need in the workplace.
Lolwana of Tsholomnqa village in the Eastern Cape is a level 4 Civil Engineering student majoring in Construction Plumbing at the Lovedale TVET College in King William's Town.
“Enrolling for this course has opened my mind in terms of different career choices I could take. I always thought that engineering was difficult, but now I know it is not,” she says.
Lolwana's educational journey has not been easy, but she found the process so rewarding. She says furthering her studies has proven to her that she can do anything that she sets her mind to.
“Education is important for me as a young person because I do not think I would be able to find employment in future if I do not study,” she says.
She advises young South Africans to consider educational opportunities offered by TVET colleges This is because they will not only learn the theoretical part of their academics but will also be taught how to do the practical work in
becoming plumbers, electricians and technicians, says Lolwana.“TVET colleges offer various career choices, especially in the artisan field which is highly needed in the country,” she says.
Lolwana has plans to study further and become a quantity surveyor and one day run her own business.
TVET colleges bridging the skills gap
In an effort to fight the high unemployment rate in the country, and to bridge the inequality gap in various social classes, government is encouraging learners to consider enrolling with TVET colleges as an alternative to traditional universities.
Government wants more young people to attain skills and competencies that will help them find jobs or create their own enterprises as artisans.
This will also help the country to meet its target of producing 30 000 artisans a year by 2030.
The Department of Higher Education and Training has appealed to Grade 12 pupils who wish to study at TVET colleges in 2021 to apply immediately.