Building a bridge between schooling and work

10 students spend two weeks at GIZ in Pretoria

Aug 26th, 2015
Students at Sekhukhune TVET College

South Africa has one of the worst youth-unemployment problems in the world. One large contributing factor to this statistic is the clear mismatch between the skills taught at school and those required by the economy and industry as a whole. The Work Based Exposure Programme (WBE) is an effective and innovative way to bridge the gap between the world of school and the world of work: TVET college NCV students get to spend time in organisations and get the chance to see what employers are looking for, gain exposure, gain experience and prepare for the working world accordingly.


To GIZ, the support of skills development in South Africa is of utmost importance. As the GIZ Skills Development and Employment Programmes we thus want to “practice what we preach” and invest in the future workforce of South Africa.

Against this backdrop the Skills Development and Employment Programmes recently initiated a two week Work Based Exposure (WBE) Programme at GIZ in Pretoria. It gave students the opportunity to gain valuable experience by working in a ‘real’ office environment, thereby greatly increasing their employability after they graduate. Six young women and four young men from the Ekurhuleni West TVET College (Tembisa campus), all between the ages of 20 and 26 and studying office administration, were placed under the guidance of assigned mentors who taught the students administrative, bookkeeping and other valuable office skills.

What makes WBE such a worthwhile programme is that not only the students benefit from WBE, the participating companies and their employees also do! The mentors within GIZ (and all staff involved) gained confidence and found the experience of teaching and sharing knowledge very enriching and empowering. 

To read about the WBE programme at GIZ in Pretoria, please download our booklet here!

Another much larger-scale programme is the 3 year ‘Dual System Pilot Project (DSPP)’ of the DHET, which is supported by the GIZ Skills Development for Green Economy (SD4GE) Programme. The approach combines learning at TVET colleges with structured workplace-based training. For more information on the Dual System Pilot Project, please click here

Update: After completion of the WBE at GIZ, we are very pleased to announce that we have already inspired two companies to follow suit- they will host students in October this year!

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