By NOKUZOLA THWALA | 2023-01-19
THE Republic of China (Taiwan) has donated equipment worth E5.2 million to the Eswatini College of Technology (ECOT).
The equipment, which is part of the Technical and Vocational Skills Enhancement (TVET) Project, will help upgrade the electrical wiremen trade testing workshop at the Directorate of Industrial and Vocational Education and Training (DIVT) and ECOT’s Hospitality and Tourism kitchen, which will also be used for trade testing. Presenting the equipment was Republic of China (Taiwan) Ambassador Jeremy Liang, who said the TVET Project was key in imparting skills to society.
He stated that TVET was key in contributing to economic and industrial growth and in the reduction of unemployment rates.
During the event, there was also a mini- food expo for the trainees, who had the privilege to be first to use the equipment and take part in skills sharing with experts from Taiwan.
“In words of Rod Blagojevick, ‘a successful economic strategy must focus on improving the skills of the area’s workforce’.
“Likewise, we believe that TVET is key in imparting skills to society, contributing to economic and industrial growth and in the reduction of unemployment rates.
“It is because of this significance that the government of Taiwan started to have a joint cooperation with the ministry of education and training and that of labour and social security in developing the technical labour force through introducing new technology, market-driven skills and further improving certification standards across various trades to match with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) qualification framework through the TVET Project,” he said.
He disclosed that the project commenced in July 2020 and would end in June 2024.
The ambassador also noted that the World Economic Forum long emphasised that a country’s economic growth relied on investments in human capital such as talents with knowledge and skills.
He added that the Eswatini Strategic Road Map state that economic growth required well educated technicians. He however noted that most of the youths were affected by a lack of momentum in the local economy and rampant unemployment, which stood at 47.37 per cent in 2019.
Liang said in light of this, there was a dire need for technical and vocational skills training as well as effective skills development program in Eswatini.
“The new project also incorporates machinery, hospitality and tourism related occupations, to provide certified personnel in key occupations capable of meeting Eswatini’s national development needs.
It has also assisted in increasing the capacity of trade testing as it supported a total 189 participants and further supported a total of 133 students in up-skilling and long-life training.
It is worth noting that the food preparation is a new trade in the Hospitality and Tourism Industry introduced by the DIVT so as to produce qualified cooks who can be able to support the sector and establish their own businesses, which is what we encourage.
For the Electrical trade, the DIVT saw it fit to expand the capacity of trade testing electricians to meet Industry demand,” he said.
Moreover, he said the impact the project on the country’s economy could not be taken lightly as skills play a major role in uplifting the economy and that the TVET sector was a major contributor to the skills base.
“We believe this equipment will improve the trade testing capacity and render the beneficiaries competent in their trades nationally and internationally,” added the Ambassador.
Also present during the event were Minister of Education and Training Lady Howard-Mabuza, Minister of Labour and Social Security Phila Buthelezi as well as Minister of Tourism and Environmental Affairs Moses Vilakati.
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