The newly launched Engineering School of Specialisation in Katlehong is set to address the skills shortage and unemployment through public private partnership. Launched on 20 August, by Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, the school focuses on manufacturing, transport and logistics.

The school is strategically situated in the Eastern Economic Development corridor, where the major industries are transport, manufacturing and logistics.

“Our partnership with the private sector has been fundamental in providing learners with workplace experience, learnerships, artisanships and entrepreneurial skills.

“The school has partnered with entities such as Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services SETA (MerSETA), Samsung Electronics, Hatfield VW and Fury Ford Group, Komatsu Mining, Austrian Education Department and Tshwane IDC,” said the MEC.

Learners from this school who pass Mathematics and Physical Science will receive placement assistance from MerSETA to be trained as qualified motor technicians at Ford, VW, Audi, Toyota and Mazda.

Investing in the future

“We are excited about our partnership with different companies in the private sector. Among others, they will also support the school with training services and material. Indeed, we would like to thank all our partners for investing in our children.

“If we fail to change the education landscape, we will never succeed in empowering our children with the necessary skills to improve our economy,” said Lesufi.

MerSETA will also assist the school in funding and upgrading the workshops to enable the school to be accredited as a formal training centre in future.

“The school has 17 apprentices. These are former learners and youth who are in an apprenticeship programme. They do their theory at the school and are then placed in various automotive industries to do the practical component,” said Lesufi.

Samsung Electronics will continue to take Grade 10-12 learners doing electrical technology to their academy in Midrand for additional training on a weekly basis. Learners will be exposed to the latest technology in electronics.

Over the past three years, the department has launched eight schools of specialisation. Lesufi said 35 schools of specialisation are also on the cards for 2022.

These schools and their specialties are spread across the five Economic Development Corridors:

1. Northern Corridor: Automotive, Research, Innovation (Knowledge-based), Nuclear Science and Technology.

2. Eastern Corridor: Manufacturing, Transport (aeronautics), Logistics.

3. Central Corridor: Financial Services, Hospitality and Pharmaceuticals.

4. Western Corridor: Agro-processing, Tourism, Archaeology, Logistics.

5. Southern Corridor: Tourism and Entertainment, Agro-processing, Logistics, Hydro-industries.

Schools of specialisation target talented learners to attend a school focusing in the disciplines of Maths, Science and ICT, Commerce and Entrepreneurship, Engineering, Performing and Creative Art and Sports.

“It is important to invest in our children because they are our future. This is revolution and quality education we are advocating for, which learners will benefit from,” said Lesufi.