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What does the National Development Plan 2030 mean for youth and artisans in South Africa?

The National Development Plan (NDP) 2030 is a South African policy document developed by the National Planning Commission in 2012 outlining a plan for all races and classes of South Africa to unite and work together towards eliminating poverty and inequality, while achieving a “decent standard of living” for all South Africans including housing, water, electricity, sanitation, safe public transport, quality education, quality healthcare, social protection, adequate nutrition, a clean environment and very importantly, employment.

Paying specific attention to the education section to build a future for South African youth, the National Development plan proposed to “expand the role of state-owned enterprises in training artisans and technical professionals” by producing 30,000 qualified artisans per year (we currently produce less than half of this number) to not only meet the skill demand of the country but the NDP furthermore stated that these are the “activities that provide shock absorbers for extreme poverty and platforms for self-employment” thereby promoting economic advancement. Artisan skills are vital to successfully implement South Africa’s Strategic Infrastructure Projects (SIP’s) such as building of roads, schools, bridges, power stations and harbors.

Some of the trades that have been identified by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) as being in high demand include diesel mechanics, instrument technicians, riggers, auto electricians and millwirghts.

So what does this mean for the youth in South Africa and those currently deciding on what career path to take, or even those who have already enrolled to study at a technical college?

In short, it means that not only are there potentially huge employment, self employment and economic growth opportunities in technical and vocational trades for qualified artisans, but furthermore that this drive is supported and promoted by our Government’s National Development policy as well as the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) who in 2014 launched it’s Decade of the Artisan campaign promoting  artisanship as a career of choice to South African youths. The National Development Plan calls on all South Africans to unite  and this means that the whole country is committed to working together with you to succeed.

Many youth in South Africa may face financial challenges and limitations when it comes to funding their desired artisanship or trade qualification. Additionally, Adcorp Group CEO Dr. John Wentzel pointed out, in his message at the Sasol ATTC Conference in 2021, the reality that there is a general negative perception surrounding artisans, tradesmen and technical qualifications within the South African community. Adcorp Group is committed to driving technical and vocational training among young people and especially black females in South Africa, as well as post qualification employment by creating awareness and addressing the financial challenges as well as the negative discourse around artisanship and trade work.

Trade qualifications are the new deal, supported by guaranteed demand and opportunity for those who seek them. So if you’re thinking about what subjects to choose going into Grade 10, if you’re leaving school at the end of the year and deciding what to study, if you’re deciding on what career path to take then think about trades. Look up your local TVET college Colleges South Africa – TVET Colleges ( to find out more about what technical qualification you would like to pursue, join a growing Facebook community of artisans (2) Artisans South Africa | Facebook and get started on your artisan journey. We’re almost certain you won’t look back.

If you would like the full copy of the NDP 2030, get it here: National Development Plan 2030: Our future – make it work (

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