Skills development interventions, whether it is life skills or industry-specific skills, are vital in training and empowering the youth of South Africa and in overcoming social disadvantage. Individuals need guidance on making career decisions, life and business choices, and should consequently be informed of opportunities available to them.
Over recent years South Africa’s government has increased investment in education and training projects, which includes the SETA’s services (Sector of Education and Training Authority). Other corporate social investment projects also aim to empower and train our youth. However, making these services available to inaccessible communities have been problematic in the past.
Fixed infrastructures, including skills development centres, have been set up but this still means that individuals have to travel far to have access to these services. This involves travel costs, as well as the disadvantage associated with the cost and maintenance of fixed infrastructures which are also prone to theft.
Alternatively, taking the facilities to the communities rather than the people seeking the specific service has been proven effective. This has been made possible through mobile classrooms. Taking mobile education to the heart of rural communities provides a great opportunity for community engagement, social cohesion and development on their doorstep. These mobile classrooms allow for career guidance, training and education, research, administrative functions, as well as creating awareness of skills development solutions provided.
The benefits of mobile education centres are multiple. Apart from the advantages of skills development interventions offered by fixed centres, mobile classrooms offer additional advantages as opposed to fixed infrastructures:
- Ability to reach far-away villages by means of speciality vehicles manufactured to be able to travel on rugged terrain, which ultimately means greater reach.
- Lower set-up costs and maintenance fees.
- Increased access to training and skills development opportunities, which is in line with South Africa’s National Skills Development Strategy.
- Opportunity for research and data gathering within rural areas, to indicate which skills are available and to match these with occupations in demand.
- Exposure to Information and Communications Technology, and training thereof
This innovative, mobile approach is the solution to closing the skills gap in South Africa. For more information on mobile classrooms get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org.