Youth Participation in the National Development Plan Through Technical and Vocational Education and Training: The Case of Young Black Women in South Africa

Youth Participation in the National Development Plan Through Technical and Vocational Education and Training: The Case of Young Black Women in South Africa

Johannes Ntshilagane Mampane (University of South Africa, South Africa)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8443-8.ch002

Abstract

This chapter is empirical in nature rather than being entirely conceptual and theoretical. The chapter aims to explore and describe youth participation in the South African National Development Plan through technical and vocational education and training (TVET) by capturing the case studies of four young Black women as primary sources of data. Secondary sources of data were obtained from a collection of extant literature, textbooks, journal articles, and internet sources. The chapter discusses challenges regarding the participation of these young Black women in TVET and recommendations to mitigate these challenges are proffered. These recommendations are based on the principles of social justice, inclusion, diversity, equity, and equality.
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Introduction

Globally, youth participation in the socio-economic development of the society is increasingly gaining prominence. This situation is particularly apparent in developing countries such as those in Africa. This is because youth on the African continent comprise majority of the population. In South Africa for instance, Statistics South Africa, a governmental parastatal responsible for the country’s censuses, reported that there were about 20.1 million youth in 2016, which translates to 36.2 per cent of the whole population (Statistics South Africa, 2016). The South African National Youth Commission Act of 1996 classifies youth as those in the age cohort of 14 to 35 years. It is worth noting that South African youth constitute a large portion of the country’s working population. As a result, they are highly significant in the socio-economic development of the country.

South African youth, like other youth around the world, are faced with high rates of unemployment (International Labour Organization [ILO], 2011). According to Statistics South Africa, the unemployment rate among youth in 2018 was 38.2 per cent, implying that more than one in every three young people in the country were unemployed, especially young Black women who constitute the majority of the youth population (Statistics South Africa, 2016). This situation of unemployment in many cases is exacerbated by the fact that most youth in South Africa have not finished formal schooling and are not competitive and qualified to be absorbed into the formal labour market. As a result, this situation has compelled the South African government through the Department of Higher Education and Training to implement Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), especially for youth who are not able to proceed with formal education at secondary and tertiary levels. According to the Department of Higher Education and Training (2012), TVET can help South Africa to reduce its high unemployment figures. TVET in South Africa is usually divided into two educationally inclined sectors, namely, Technical education and Vocational education. Technical education refers to training in theoretical and practical basic scientific skills and knowledge related to careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields such as construction, mining, transportation, agriculture, industrial as well as information and communication technologies (ICTs). Vocational education on the other hand is concerned with practical and less theoretical skills and knowledge required for a specific trade, craft or profession such as art and design, healthcare, public relations and journalism, education and development, drama and music, tourism and hospitality, office administration and business management.

The government believes that the implementation of TVET will be of paramount importance in the accomplishment of the goals and objectives of the South African National Development Plan (NDP) Vision 2030. For example, Brand South Africa, a prominent organisation advocating for the promotion of South African manufactured goods, stated that “TVET could help South Africa to reach its goals as outlined in the NDP Vision 2030” (Brand South Africa, 2016, p.1). The NDP Vision 2030 is a national strategic plan that was released in 2012 to outline South Africa’s developmental goals that are to be accomplished by the year 2030. The NDP Vision 2030 has specifically identified nine key challenges that face South Africa today, namely:

  • 1.

    Too few people work.

  • 2.

    The quality of school education for black people is poor.

  • 3.

    Infrastructure is poorly located, inadequate and under-maintained.

  • 4.

    Spatial divides hobble inclusive development.

  • 5.

    The economy is unsustainably resource-intensive.

  • 6.

    The public health system cannot meet demand or sustain quality.

  • 7.

    Public services are uneven and often of poor quality.

  • 8.

    Corruption levels are high.

  • 9.

    South Africa remains a divided society.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Youth Participation: Refers to a process by which youth as stakeholders share control over development initiatives and also take part in decision-making and problem-solving processes in the countries that they live in.

Vocational Education: Refers to training that is concerned with practical and less theoretical skills and knowledge required for a specific trade, craft, or profession.

Case Studies: Refers to a qualitative research approach that is mainly used to investigate experiences, actions, attitudes and social structures of individuals, communities, or organizations by applying one or more data collection methods such as participant observations, interviews, and the analysis of documents.

National Development Plan (NDP) Vision 2030: Is a national strategic plan that was released in 2012 to outline South Africa’s developmental goals that are to be accomplished by the year 2030.

Feminism: Refers to a social movement that seeks to change the ideology of the superiority of men over women in society in order to ensure gender equality.

Technical Education: Refers to training in theoretical and practical basic scientific skills and knowledge related to careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields.

Youth: Are those in the age cohort of 14 to 35 years in the South African context.

TVET: Is an acronym that stands for technical and vocational education and training.

Feminism Theories: Are theories that have been developed to address issues and problems of women marginalization in society.

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