Skills development for a green economy II (SD4GE II)

Project description

Title: Skills development for a green economy II (SD4GE II)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: South Africa
Lead executing agency: Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET)
Overall term: 2018 to 2022



In parts of its economy, South Africa has increasingly transformed itself into a modern industrial state, which contributes substantially to the gross domestic product of the African continent. This is true even though the economic growth of South Africa has been declining steadily since 2014. Moreover, South Africa's core problems such as poverty, inequality, corruption, lack of qualified specialists, high youth unemployment and general education system weaknesses are becoming increasingly serious.

The core problem in the sector is the low quality of Vocational Education and Training (VET), which is not seen as a task for society as a whole. Reasons for such a stance: Low practical orientation of training programmes, the lack of skill of VET personnel at TVET colleges and companies, and the limited trust between government and industry to cooperate based on shared responsibility.


The quality of vocational training in terms of its relevance to the labour market has been improved. 



The Skills Development for a Green Economy II (SD4GE II) supports a structural change towards more employment-oriented dual training approaches in South Africa. 
The programme aims to create a sustainable basis for cooperation between public and private stakeholders. To achieve this end, it supports:

  • Concerted collaboration between private and public stakeholders to promote dual training approaches.
  • The implementation of the South African Dual System Pilot Project (DSPP), Centres of Specialisation (CoS) programme and dual short courses (Installation, Repair and Maintenance Initiative (IRM) as part of the Job Summit commitments, and its transfer to the national vocational education and training system as a regular delivery mechanism. 
  • The strengthening of the capacity of VET personnel (TVET lecturers and managers) as well as in-company mentors and HR personnel from companies to run dual occupational training programmes.


Nearly 240 electrician and plumber apprentices are currently undergoing a 3-year dual occupational programme in 70 training companies and 5 TVET colleges. 

  • Next apprenticeship intakes will begin in the second half of 2019. 
  • The DSPP experience plays a key role in the CoS (Center of Specialisation), which is regarded as a reform project of the TVET & Skills Development system in South Africa and provides for dual vocational education and training for 13 trades. 
  • Further training for TVET college lecturers including coaching, mentoring, peer-learning etc. in areas of vocational pedagogy, didactics and methodology as well as in technologies is provided on an ongoing basis. 
  • In order to strengthen the management capacities of TVET college management to implement dual training programmes, a cooperation between the University of Pretoria and Technical University of Munich has been initiated to jointly develop a Post Graduate Diploma Programme (PGDip).
  • To strengthen in-company mentor training capacities, a modular training programme specifically geared to the needs of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SME) is being developed, in collaboration with 14 industry and professional associations representing more than 15,000 companies. 
  • The cooperation with the industry is an integral part of SD4GE II which has taken shape in three forms: an MoU on Areas of Cooperation with AHK (Southern African – German Chamber of Commerce and Industry); cooperation with the National Business Initiative (NBI) on short-courses; and an integrated Development Partnership with the Private Sector with SAR Electronic SA for the implementation of an integration programme for the transition to (high tech) employment of graduates of dual occupational programmes.

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