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What is the Dual System Pilot Project (DSPP)?

Lessons Learnt – Introduction to the factsheets


In its ‘Decade of the Artisan 2014 - 2024’ initiative, South Africa has set itself the ambitious goal of producing 30 000 new artisans per year by 2030. Public TVET colleges in particular have been identified as a key partner in artisan development. In future the colleges are thus set to become the largest component in the national skills training system, with enrolment figures increasing from about 650,000 to 2,500,000 by 2030.
The Dual System Pilot Project (DSPP) is an initiative by the South African Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), which is supported by the Skills Development for a Green Economy (SD4GE) Programme implemented by GIZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
In order to support these developments, it is a priority of the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) to enhance public TVET colleges’ delivery capacity, and most importantly to forge stronger and more cooperative relationships between TVET colleges and industry through innovative training pathways.
The DSPP is a dual approach combining theoretical and practical training at public TVET colleges with structured learning at the workplace, where approximately 70% of the time is spent in companies. Responsibilities for the implementation and financing are shared between government and industry. Apprentices rotate between public TVET colleges and companies. Candidates are identified by the TVET college and selected by a company. Apprentices then receive an employment contract for a three-year artisan training programme. It is based on the new QCTO occupational qualification which was developed in cooperation with industry, mainly large-scale and state-owned enterprises and private training providers.
Amongst the QCTO occupational qualifications are the electrician and the plumber trades, both identified as scarce and critical skills on the National Scarce Skills list, as well as in government’s Strategic Integrated Projects (SIPs). They were registered with SAQA in November 2013.
These occupational qualifications were subsequently developed into a training syllabus referred to as the National Occupational Curriculum Content for Artisans of the 21st century (NOCC-A21), which integrates theory, practical- and work experiences in a holistic manner.
The DHET has consequently identified the need for a pilot measure with an expected mandate to review existing regulations and to present alternatives for a more practise- and labour market-oriented dual training approach.
The DSPP uses a pathway that closely integrates training delivery at the selected TVET colleges with structured learning at the workplace for apprentices that were selected by host employers.
The DSPP is meant to serve as a ‘trailblazer’ for an artisan development approach based on dual occupational programmes and utilising the NOCC-A21. Recommendations from the DSPP implementation and lessons learnt will thus be used in a broader context, e.g. the Centres of Specialisation Programme (CoSP).

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