After secondary school, the majority of young people in the Netherlands go on to vocational education. In South Africa, on the other hand, university is generally considered the only follow-up to secondary school. As a result, there is a ‘skills gap’ – a mismatch between vocational education graduates and private sector job vacancies. The country sorely needs better designed, equipped and financed vocational education programmes.
The visit of a delegation from South Africa’s Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) followed up on the visit to South Africa by the Netherlands’ former Director-General of Higher and Vocational Education, Hans Schutte, in October 2016. The purpose of this year’s visit was to deepen the South Africans’ understanding of Dutch vocational education, for example through visits to STC Group, MBO Westland and Tata Steel Academy. Participants also shared best practices on internationalisation in this sector and on cooperation between the private sector, government and other organisations (the triple helix). This could help South Africa expand its skilled workforce and thus boost private sector development.
‘My memories are rich about your country.’
Embassy representative: Mervin Bakker (Nuffic)
RVO.nl representatives: Marjella Wingelaar, Larissa Jongenelen (intern)