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Green skills development a priority in South Africa

South Africa is hampered by a reactive approach to skills development for environmental and energy func- tions, says Manufacturing, Engi-neering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority (Merseta) CEO Dr Raymond Patel. Migrate to South AfricaHe adds that the public must find a new sustainable development paradigm that enables South Africa to make better use of its natural resources. Merseta received a major boost last September when it entered into an agreement with Gesell-schaft Für Internationanale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) to under- take strategic sustainable green skills development in the manufacturing and engineering sector. GIZ is a service provider in Germany which takes on complex challenges and creates effective systems for sustainable development. A core project, of the cooperation, is a fundamental study of the extent to which enterprises that work with Merseta, integrate green skills into their processes. The agreement’s four objectives are to research the current state of green skills and sustain- ability across companies; to initiate green job-specific qualification development and skills programme registrations, conduct an energy audit of the Merseta and create career development programmes with particular focus on green jobs. “Skills development in South Africa has always been a national priority,” Patel points out. “But the absence of a coherent strategy to support and sustain growth and development is a key challenge. Aligned to national priorities in the National Development Plan, one of the nine elements of a decent standard of living is clearly stated as a ‘clean environment’,” he says. Merseta will join many companies and organisations attending the 2013 South African Industry and Technology (Indutec) Fair, in Midrand, Gauteng, in May. The event is a ten-shows-in-one trade exhibition focusing on com- panies involved in technology, manufacturing, energy and engineering, the water, gas and petroleum sectors, as well as the pumps, valves and pipes industries. “The manufacturing and engineering sector contributes significantly to gross domestic product and employs over 13% of the total employed population,” says Patel. Indutec is endorsed by some of Merseta’s stakeholders such as Plastics SA, the South African Institute of Welding and the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of South Africa. Source: http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/indutec-to-focus-on-skills-development-2013-04-17

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