Pretoria – The Department of Public Works is committed to skills development and the recruitment of skilled people against the backdrop of a nationwide shortage of professional people, Minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde said.
Debating her budget vote on Wednesday, Mahlangu-Nkabinde said the number of CVs recently received by her department contradicts reports of total skills shortage in the country.
In February, the minister had made a call to retires, unemployed and not yet qualified engineers and artisans to submit their CVs to create a database, so that they can be utilised to help the department deliver on its infrastructure development mandate.
They would then become the centres of further skills generation, while at the same time, helping reduce the costs associated with unnecessary outsourcing of menial jobs, many of which could be performed in-house.
The minister said more than 9 000 CVs were received. “The results were overwhelming, again another indication that belies the myth of [a] total skills shortage,” Mahlangu-Nkabinde said.
These numbers, she said, were significant to sustain the intake of technical prowess in the department in support of its mandate, not least realising the government’s job creation targets.
Also in partnership with the Northern Cape Education Department, about 100 young men and women had been placed in the artisan training programme at the Pelindaba Technical Training Centre outside Tshwane, where they would undergo training in various trades.
After 18 months of joint theoretical and practical training, the government had undertaken to give them all jobs which will include welding, mechanical, electrical, fitting and turning and draughting, among others.
“Skills development is a central building block of a developmental state. We must at all costs turn the tide of history that has seen our people like Ntate Robert Maphutha, retiring after 36 years of service to the department of public works, having served in no more a capacity than being a parking attendant.
“To remain competitive and grow the business of public works, I have commanded the department to single-mindedly focus on expediting the filling of all funded posts,” Mahlangu-Nkabinde said. – BuaNews