As the new academic year begins, many school leavers find themselves at a crossroads. Family and friends may be talking about going to university, but is that the right choice for you? Do you like working with your hands? Do you like working with people and being out and about? Being an artisan is definitely not a career for you if you like being stuck behind a desk!
There are ample career opportunities where you can demonstrate your skills to use your brain and hands. If you are in South Africa, you can call 0117364400 and ask about the kinds of available careers and how to study for one. See the links below to Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) developments in some African countries.
Many school leavers still only consider office work as a career option, yet vacancies exist in the skilled trade sectors, such as in construction, welding, boilermaking, etc. In South Africa, the Department of Higher Education and Training acknowledges the need for artisan skills and launched the "Year of the Artisan" in 2013. Although there is still a negative perception of artisan careers in many countries, career guidance towards technical careers, study options and increased availability of funding for students in these areas, are creating greater awareness and in some countries larger enrolment in TVET programmes is already evident.
If you are a young woman, you should not be discouraged to become an artisan. Companies need women who are skilled in areas such as plumbing, electrical work, computer maintenance and many more. Participation in a practical, hands-on training programme, as opposed to a theoretical, academic programme appeals to many people. In addition to this, combining learning and work help improve the prospect of finding employment on completion of training. The skills shortages in many technical fields make an artisan career a very attractive option to consider.
Year of the artisan South Africa: http://www.gov.za/events/view.php?sid=33977
TVET in Ghana: http://www.cotvet.org/
TVET in Nigeria: http://www.unesco-nigeriatve.org
TVET in Tanzania: http://tinyurl.com/meq9mc3
TVET in Kenya: http://tinyurl.com/nnx2ywr
Submitted on 21 January 2014. First published on AfricaEducation.org.