Media Release
Minister of Education Donald Grant
Western Cape

18 December, 2012

Western Cape project offers new hope for learners who are at risk of dropping out of school.

Statement by Minister Donald Grant, Minister of Education, Western Cape

The applicants for the 2013 pilot programme have already been selected. Therefore the project is now CLOSED to any further applicants. No further applicants will be selected.

The Western Cape Education Department is working with a range of partners to provide technical training for learners in Grades 9 and 10 who are at risk of dropping out of school.

The department has designed a project specifically for learners who have repeatedly not been promoted at the end of Grades 9 and 10 and who are generally three to four years older than other learners in these Grades.

The WCED has entered into partnerships to provide this training with Further Education and Training (FET) colleges, Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAS), Adult Education and Training (AET) centres and the Department of Labour.

The WCED will invest about R10 million in 2013 in a pilot project to provide occupational courses at FET Colleges for learners wanting to take this option.

Learners normally have to pass Grade 9 to transfer to FET colleges. The pilot will cater for learners who have not been able to meet this requirement.

The pilot includes screening to guide learners to appropriate courses, for example:

  • To develop specific occupational skills at FET colleges, and
  • To obtain a General Education and Training Certificate Level 1 qualification.

The Department of Labour screened 695 Grade 9 learners who are 18 years of age or older for the pilot during November 2012.

The WCED has matched 416 of these learners to six FET colleges across the province.

The department expects to place another 33 learners after further discussions with the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority (MerSeta).

This will bring the total number of participants in the pilot to 449.

The WCED will work with FET colleges and SETAS to develop a range of programmes. The programmes will include a bridging course, to improve literacy and numeracy skills, and theoretical, practical and experiential learning.

The partners plan to include a minimum work placement period of six months and plan to provide technical qualifications that could lead to further studies at FET colleges or to employment.

The plan includes offering bridging programmes to enable access to National Certificate (Vocationa) qualifications, the equivalent to matric; N1 to N3 engineering courses; and SETA Levels 1 and 2 qualifications.

AET centres will offer ABET Level 4 training to provide NQF Level 1 certificates that will enable learners to access further learning at FET colleges, and general skills programmes.

The WCED will organize further information sessions for parents and learners in January to ensure that they are fully informed about the project.

The department will ask parents and learners to sign agreements if they wish to participate. The learners will be able to enroll for the pilot at FET colleges on 21 January. The WCED will subsidise each learner, including transport.

The project offers new hope for learners and a pathway out of poverty and unemployment, while providing scare scarce skills needed by the economy.

For enquiries, contact Bronagh Casey:  021 467 2377 or

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2012 Western Cape Education Department