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'It's cool to be a 21st century artisan': DHET hosts event aimed at teaching the youth about trade skills

KwaZulu-Natal's Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre is set to host the 4th WorldSkills South Africa Biennial National Competition from June 7 - 10. Picture: GCIS

KwaZulu-Natal's Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre is set to host the 4th WorldSkills South Africa Biennial National Competition from June 7 - 10. Picture: GCIS

Published Jun 3, 2022

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KwaZulu-Natal's Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre is set to host the 4th WorldSkills South Africa (WSZA) Biennial National Competition from June 7 - 10.

Hosted under the theme of “It’s Cool to be a 21st Century Artisan, the 2022 WSZA National Competition will incorporate a two day WSZA Conference at the Durban ICC parallel to the National Competition.

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Falling under the Department of Higher Education and Training, the WSZA National Competition takes place three years after the 45th WorldSkills International Competition on Russia in September 2019. Previously scheduled for September 2021 in Shanghai, China, the evnt had to be re-scheduled to October 12 - 17, 2022, because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The postponement afforded member countries, including South Africa, time to focus on local competitions and other related activities in preparation for the international competition in Shanghai, China. The postponement also allowed WSZA time to prepare for the WorldSkills Africa Competition which took place in Swakopmund, Namibia in March 2022. South Africa participated in 14 of the skills at the WorldSkills Africa competition and managed to bring home eight medals.

The WorldSkills Africa competition in Namibia was a huge opportunity for young competitors and prepared them for what will probably be a tough national competition in June.

WSZA travelled between provinces to host workshops with different stakeholders, monitor and ensure the success of all WSZA provincial competitions in preparation for the 2022 WSZA National Competitions. The provincial competitions were a result of a rigorous and transparent sifting process at local competitions which took place at colleges, workplaces and training centres across the country.

The DHET will host the biennial WSZA National Competitions as an important mechanism to promote artisan skills as a viable career choice as well as to open up potential partnerships with industry.

The national competition supported by regional competitions provide a critical platform from which the country is able to assess the levels of apprenticeship and artisan training in addition to advocating for the uptake of artisan careers as careers of first choice. The WSZA programme also plays a critical role in building bridges between all stakeholders within the apprenticeship and artisan development arena.

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The DHET is in the final stages of promulgating the National Apprenticeship and Artisan Development Strategy 2030. The conference will be used as a launching pad for the promulgated strategy. Also incorporated at the WSZA National Competition, will be the National Artisan Development Career Festival which will be hosted in different selected districts of the Kwa-Zulu Natal province. The aim of the career festival is to reduce, among others, the stigma related to artisan careers, provide information on artisan careers and possible career projections.

The winners at the National Competition will get an opportunity to represent the country at the WorldSkills International Competition in Shanghai, China, to compete in different skills areas covering different disciplines, including Construction and Building Technology; Manufacturing and Engineering Technology; Information and Communications; Social and Personal Services; Creative Arts and Fashion; and Transportation and Logistics.

The 46th WorldSkills International Competition hosted in Shanghai, China later this year will feature over 1600 competitors from more than 60 countries and regions, competing in over 63 skills.

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WorldSkills competitions create a global platform to develop and help young people who want to change the lives and the fortunes of their communities and societies.

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