The country’s skills deficit saw the newly appointed Home Affairs minister Malusi Gigaba last June making a raft of changes in order to attract foreign skilled labour.
According to the country’s Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS), 55 per cent of the amount allocated towards education consists of subsidies to universities and contributions to the National Students Financial Aid Scheme.
This will allow for an additional 116,000 university enrolments by 2016/17.
According to Treasury’s medium term strategic framework, there is a projected expansion of access to technical, vocational and adult education centres, as well as universities.
The department added that given the scale of needs identified, an interdepartmental team will develop financing proposals.
Treasury said expanded access should be matched by improvements in the quality of training provided.
The country has been fighting to bridge the skills gap especially with regards to artisans.
The Department of Education says it is on track with its enrolment targets for a total headcount and full time equivalents in further education and training colleges.
“The number of registered and competent artisan learners as at 31 August 2014 already exceeds the biannual targets set in the 2014/15 annual performance plan for the two performance indicators,” said Treasury.
“This increases the likelihood of the annual targets being achieved by the end of the financial year.”
The mid-term statement said government needed new tools for monitoring educational outcomes – such as the annual national assessments – are establishing platforms to address longstanding challenges.
The department said, in combination with greater attention to teacher training and human resource management, these approaches will help to improve teaching and learning.
Post-school education and training, which had the fastest-growing budget over the past three years, continues to expand.