By Johan Maartens, chief operating officer, SAIMC.
Industry, through the Manufacturing Circle, and with full support of downstream associations (PtSA, SAIMC, SACEEC, SAEEC, SASSDA, AFSA, SAIW, SAIF and others) has, through a pilot industry/government partnership – the Intsimbi Future Production Technologies Initiative – developed skills and enterprise development initiatives to meet the future needs of the manufacturing sector and solve the systemic problems faced by it in the 4IR environment.
Industry is in full support of scaling these as the new broad-based solutions for advanced manufacturing, but it will require a new financial partnership model to achieve meaningful results. The existing model was developed between industry (the tooling sector) and Deloitte, giving the contributors BBB-EE points through education and training, as well as assisting students to create their own businesses through access to funding from the DTI, amongst others. This is the programme that has now been adopted by the SAIMC for the automation sector.
Industry also recognises the need for the current mainstream technical education system to be sustained until it has had time to align itself with the new 4IR environment and adjusted to deliver against these new requirements and standards.
Industry further suggests that the split between the sector education and training system (SETA) and the new systemic skills and enterprise solutions as proved by the existing IFPTI initiatives (NTIP) be modelled on the following basis:
• 80% of the manufacturing sector’s SDL contribution will continue to support the mainstream education system (University, UT and TVET) as well as traditional SETA-based company support for legacy trades and qualifications (the ‘old’ system) while they develop the capacity to align with the ‘new’ systems described above.
• 20% of SDL contributions to be in support of scaling the new systemic solution-based outcomes of the IFPTI.
It has further been suggested that a 10-year roadmap be created for the convergence of the old and new systems, during which time an appropriate balance between the industry-based advanced skills delivery capacity created by the IFPTI and the silo-approach of mainstream education is reached.
It will then be possible to gradually increase SDL allocation to the new system while allocation to the old is decreased by a proportionate amount.
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