Leveraging the engineering ecosystem to prepare TVET graduates that the South African manufacturing industry needs
Keywords:TVET, engineering ecosystem, skills, food and beverage sector, employability, systems dynamics
This study investigates the claims in literature that South African TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training) colleges, a key component of the engineering ecosystem, fail to produce graduates who meet industry requirements. A Likert-scale questionnaire was developed and deployed to manufacturing businesses in South Africa. The results confirm the proliferation of negative perceptions of TVET graduates in South Africa. Advanced statistical analysis and simulation techniques applied to the data confirm the key latent variables impacting the sector as graduate capability, technology, curriculum innovation, technical skills, soft skills, business performance, employability, and graduate turnover. Furthermore, a systems dynamics model was developed based on the causal relationships of observable variables constituting the university–TVET–industry nexus of the engineering ecosystem. The simulation results reveal significant potential for growth in new business activity and employment for TVET graduates. This could be achieved by facilitating collaboration across the engineering ecosystem. Thus, business input into curriculum development would be increased, universities would contribute to curriculum innovation and evolution, and soft skills would be enhanced for both new and existing graduates.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Arnesh Telukdarie
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