If the ANC government cannot, or will not, step up to the challenge, this is the moment for industry players and tertiary institutions to seize the initiative and demonstrate dynamic leadership.
First published in the Daily Maverick 168 weekly newspaper.
That there are so many talented people who cannot be absorbed into the workplace shows that the ANC government lacks vision and leadership. It also shows that our higher education and training system is broken and needs to be fixed - quickly.
Having been a senior academic at universities in SA, the UK and the US for many years, I'd like to share a few thoughts on a way ahead. These ideas are not new, having been in circulation for some years, both in SA and elsewhere.
Skew the Higher Education/Further Education and Training (HE/FET) budget significantly in favour of the FET sector. This will emphasise the value of technical knowledge and skills the economy needs for growth. There are too many students enrolled for university degrees that are pretty worthless in a rapidly changing job market. What SA's emerging economy needs are technically competent young people who can get the job done, a workforce trained in a wide range...