Switzerland and South Africa maintain policy dialogue on skills formation from both an education and economic development standpoint. Signature of a Joint Declaration of Intent in 2015 should lead to even closer cooperation.
In 2015, Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) and the South Africa’s Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) signed a Joint Declaration of Intent on bilateral cooperation in vocational education and training. This document reinforces joint activities aimed at developing VET structures and institutions. In addition, it should also create favourable conditions for the development of dual-track VET programmes, which will prove beneficial both to local companies in South Africa as well as Swiss companies based in South Africa.
SERI support options
In mutually agreed areas of cooperation, SERI has always sought to encourage the transfer and exchange of VET expertise, particularly with regards to the development of training plans for VET programme as well as the provision of pedagogical training to vocational teachers, workplace trainers and examiners. Steps have also been taken to develop a national institute in South Africa specialised in VET. In addition, specific Swiss-South African VET projects have been launched at institutional level for the purpose of facilitating development of good practices within the South African education system. SERI is able to provide subsidiary support for specific projects as long as they include components of a strong public-private-partnership, help to strengthen and further develop dual-track approaches to skills development within the South African education system and lead to positive appreciation of the Swiss VPET system.
SERI coordinates its activities with the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), which pursues economic development in South Africa with a focus on skills development.