There is an entrepreneurial side from the courses Technical, Entrepreneurial and Vocational Education and Training Authority (Teveta) offers to students in colleges. However, not all graduates end up employing themselves or creating jobs for others.
Most of them look for jobs in established or emerging private enterprises. As such, integrating private sector into Tevet courses and activities cannot be overemphasised.
Firstly, it is important to understand the goals and objectives of Teveta. According to the Tevet Act of 1999, the objectives of the trainings offered are to promote an integrated, demand driven, competency based modular technical education and training system. Another objective is to monitor gaps between supply and demand for skills and to support the adoption and application of appropriate technologies.
The function of the authority is to facilitate the establishment of a technical education and training system which includes basic and specialised training to meet the needs of formal and informal sectors. It exists to satisfy the demands of the labour market for employees. Also, the authority is there to promote the provision of technical education and training according to needs within the framework of overall national socio-economic development plans and policies.
This must be done to promote the balancing of supply and demand for skilled labour with wage-employment and skills need. Also, it must be done to equip learners for self-employment.
The authority ought to contribute to human resource development through sustainable skills training and development to spearhead the country’s production and export–led socio-economic growth. However, that should never be done with the private sector in mind.
Integration of the private sector into Tevet is highlighting the objectives of technical and vocational training and the functions of the authority to develop trainings needed to both students and prospective employers. It is getting the input and reviews from the private sector on the skills in demand.
The gaps or shortfalls are seen when the private sector is compared to public sector. In general sense, the private sector is business oriented, established on massive capital investment and throughout their existence, they make profit to survive.
All forms of capital; man, materials, machines, minutes and money are worth investing in. Nonetheless, the human capital tops the list as far as running a successful organisation is concerned. Considering the cost associated with training and re-training employees, organisations choose courses which add value to their economic success.
There must always be value for money for each person employed in an organisation.
Therefore, there is need for the private sector to contribute to the curriculum of courses that the authority offers. They are the ones that experience changes such as technology demands.
At the moment, there are gaps in the nature and scope of businesses and what is offered. Also, mismatches of available jobs against the available skills on the market is apparent. The emphasis on supply side of labour than letting it be demand driven which is a concern.
To successfully achieve integration of the private sector into Tevet, the authority should emphasise on the dialogue between itself and private sector on emerging skill gaps beyond the annual conferences.
There should be a robust stakeholder engagement where the private sector does not only come during corporate social activities. Private enterprises can be used as practical platforms for the students to translate what they read from the books to the ground. The private sector can offer hands-on experienced part time lecturers to the technical colleges.
With an effective integration of private sector into Tevet, we should be able to have a private sector which shall greatly contribute to its curriculum with relevant and practical courses. It shall be possible to have a private sector which is readily available to support and give feedback to Tevet and employers with capable technicians who shall be contributing to attainment of organisational goals.
Lastly, we shall be able to graduate students with skills which are in demand in the industry.