The Department of Labour (DOL) and the Compensation Fund (CF), in collaboration with SAICA (South African Institute of Chartered Accountants) and TUT has just launched a pilot project for the funding of 20 Nursing and 20 Medical Orthotics and Prosthetics students.
In his word of welcome Prof Prince Ngobeni, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science, congratulated DoL and SAICA for launching this initiative to address the need for training in areas identified as scarce skills.
According to a statement by the Department of Labour, it has become evident that some of the scarce skills that the country needs are not readily available in the labour market and as such, the Department is introducing a specialised training programme, focusing mainly on skills disciplines such as:
Medicine; Accounting; Actuarial Sciences; Occupational therapy; Prosthetics and Orthotics.
Whilst this is a ground breaking initiative and a much needed intervention, the first intake will be a pilot and the initial numbers will not be too many to render it unmanageable and not too few to render it meaningless. The Compensation Fund has ring-fenced R17 million over a three to six year-period for this programme and will partner with the SAICA to deliver on these objectives.
In her keynote address, Minister Oliphant mentioned that the partners are optimistic that the programme will contribute to addressing what is often referred to as scarce and critical skills, and enhance the employability of our people, especially the youth from poor backgrounds and those that referred to as the missing middle.
She also expressed the wish that these students will, upon completion of their studies, be available to assist the Compensation Fund with their skills and knowledge.
The duration of the initial programme will range between three to six years. The criteria for admission to the programme has been crafted as such to accommodate deserving candidates as well.
Middle back: Mariette Schmidt, TUT’s programme coordinator for Orthotics and Prosthetics, Ms Chantyl
Mulder, CEO of SAICA and Prof Prince Ngobeni, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science, posing with a
group of the Nursing and Prosthetics and Orthotics students after the minister’s keynote address.
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