Mission to tackle skills shortage in WC successful
By Celeste Ganga
14 February 2008
Western Cape Transport and Public Works MEC, Marius Fransman’s mission to tackle the provinces scarce skills shortage head-on is starting to bear fruit. A programme called Masakhi’ iSizwe (Let’s Build the National) will see 69 young graduates entering the ‘scarce skills’ job market over the next few months.
“Masakhi’ iSizwe-a brain child of the MEC- is a programme that was started in 2006. It was started in response to an acute skills shortage in the Western Cape and in South Africa,” says Communications Specialist at the Department, Dougie Oakes.
He adds that at present, if one takes skills in engineering, quantity surveying and property management; the province is at 30% of the skills required for those areas. Something which Oakes says is a very low number. Oakes goes on to say that Civil Engineering is even worse.
“It’s just like over 10% at the moment. So you can see there is a great need to encourage people who are going to university to think of doing degrees where Maths and Science are high on the agenda, and those of course are Engineering degrees,” says Oakes.
Oakes explains that the majority of these graduates will be placed in employment with the Western Cape government, with Metrorail and some of the private sector companies that are involved with the project.