EWC's State-of-the-Art Corporate Centre Inaugurated.

27 August 2018

Minister Pandor challenges colleges to produce economy-responsive graduates, to remain relevant in fourth industrial revolution ventures.

Higher Education and Training Minister, Ms Naledi Pandor, MP, challenged TVET Colleges to offer subject content that is responsive to the world economy. Minister Pandor said the department wants to see young people groomed to be able to respond to a series of set circumstances during the 4th Industrial Revolution. She pinned her hopes for a successful developmental state on modern, well-equipped colleges, as they will be able to produce jobmarket-ready students.

The Minister was addressing an astute audience gathered for the inauguration of Ekurhuleni West TVET College's state-of-the-art Corporate Centre Building, Legae House in Germiston, and two engineering workshops. Legae House was officially launched on 27 August 2018 by the Minister, with captains of Industry, College staff, TVET College Principals and EWC partners in attendance. The modern-day building is arguably the most beautiful infrastructure development across Germiston town. It is a green building that boasts 54 glass partitioned offices, a breath-taking auditorium, spacious staff room, media room, a 60-seat boardroom and a roof-top garden, just to highlight a few of its features. The office furniture and most finishes and accessories are proudly South African made. Therefore, the college plays a huge role in local economic growth and support for SMMEs.

The Minister, passionate about all-things-education, pleaded with industry to play a role in affording TVET College students workplace opportunities to harness their skills. Minister Pandor believes that for infrastructural development and economic growth, the country needs more Engineers and Artisans, as well as more incumbents who have been trained on vocational qualifications. She stressed that it is of utmost importance that colleges offer qualifications that are responsive to the needs of the country and the needs of the industry.

"We cannot just train for the sake of training. Our TVET colleges should train students, focusing on such needs. What we want to achieve with our colleges is a very strong affinity between industry and our training establishments. With that, we can ensure that institutions respond to partnerships and collaborations. We want to have a situation where young people enrolled in Hospitality Courses are taught at least one foreign language as part of preparations for the job environment. Tourists feel more welcome if greeted in languages they are familiar with. They want to hear phrases like 'Bonjour,' 'Bon appetit!'"

Minister Pandor expressed satisfaction with the college for providing infrastructure befitting 21st-century students. She said that the fact that there are other infrastructural developments taking place across all the college's campuses demonstrates that the institution does not only see to the comfort of management, but of the students as well. She said that she was looking forward to witnessing Ekurhuleni West TVET College's deliverables, which are students of the future, through technology-savvy lectures and workshops.

The Minister encouraged the newly appointed Acting Principal, Ms Ntombizodwa Dangazele, to lead EWC to its peak in terms of producing better results and producing more entrepreneurs.

Former college principal, Ms Hellen Ntlatleng, conveyed words of gratitude to those that contributed to the realization of the Corporate Centre. She attributed the success of the project to good financial management by the college - a feat backed by a clean audit report by the Auditor General in the past year. The OHS-compliant building was constructed in three phases with interest from other college investments, and not the initial funds put aside by the council ten years ago.

"We have been preparing for the 4th Industrial Revolution as a college through modern infrastructure. We are satisfied with other developmental work taking place at our campuses to empower students and lecturing staff," said Ms Ntlatleng.

Ms Ntlatleng is now moving into her new role as Acting Gauteng and Free State Regional Manager.

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