Higher Education encourages youth to take up artisan careers

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As the country continues to face economic challenges and a high unemployment rate, young people are encouraged to contemplate becoming artisans.

This follows a heritage career expo held at the University of Mpumalanga which was organised by the Department of Higher Education, Science and Innovation together with SETAs such as the Culture, Art, Tourism, Hospitality, and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority.

Artisan careers

Unemployment remains a big challenge in the country as government now tries to encourage young people to consider careers that will enable them to work with their hands.

About 300 learners and 120 Life Orientation (LO) and Visual Arts educators were invited to attend the heritage career expo.

Deputy Minister for Higher Education, Science and Technology Buti Manamela says they are targeting mainly young people from previously disadvantaged communities. He adds that the intention is to expose learners to careers which are available in the arts, dance and music, just as they had encouraged them to venture into the food and fashion industries. He says youth should not regard these careers as side hustles, but as real jobs.

“You can go into the university or university of technology, TVET College and study these careers. So the intention is to expose them to what post education and training institutions can provide as it relates to these careers. But also, for them to speak to practitioners who are already active in those careers- to say to them that your dreams are valid,” Manamela explains.

SETA funds

CEO of the Culture, Art, Tourism, Hospitality, and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority, Marks Thibela called on young people to take advantage of the funds made available by different SETAs.

Thibela says, “So we also have funding that is set aside for learners who would like to study in TVET colleges, universities of technologies and various universities. And we thought that was important because this is an area that has been neglected. We believe that we can even develop entrepreneurs that are actually having talent. You may have seen mama Mabaso showcasing what hands can do. She hasn’t had formal education but she has just become an interpreter and travels the world at large.”

Some of the pupils of Bonginhlanhla Secondary School say they were inspired by the artisans who showcased their work at the expo.

“As today I am here, I am happy because I’m here to learn more about career-expo so that in future I will have some knowledge to develop some good things. There are people that didn’t go to school but they make some things in life with their hands,” says a learner.

The career expo was held under the theme, “Unlocking the wealth in our heritage”.