Major skills boost for TVET Colleges


Motheo Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college was the first to receive the technology-driven greenhouse, during a technical handover event held on Friday 13 August 2021.

This is one of the milestones in the Stellenbosch University (SU) and Maastricht School of Management’s (MSM) three-year Orange Knowledge programme project titled “Strengthening Skills of TVET Staff and Students for Optimizing Water Usage and Climate Smart Agriculture in South Africa”. 

The installation of the greenhouse follows on a number of activities which started in 2020. These assessments were carried out by SU researchers and Dutch greenhouse experts coordinated through MSM, as well as TVET staff from Boland, Motheo, and Vhembe.

During the handover, the TVET principal, Prof Dipiloane Phutsisi, welcomed all and emphasized the need for cooperation and knowledge exchange to ensure successful crop production teaching in the greenhouse. Dr Rykie van der Westhuizen, a crop production specialist and SU alumnus, inspected the greenhouse and approved its functionality during the official handover to Motheo College. Over the next few weeks, Dr van der Westhuizen will continue to play a crucial role in the operationalization of the greenhouse and start of horticultural training in the greenhouse for college students. 

Mr Brent Stevens from Vegtech thereafter introduced a number of TVET staff to the technical aspects of the greenhouse, of which they are the supplier.

The investment in the greenhouse was one of the key conclusions from the labour market needs assessment study that was conducted early 2020. This study highlighted the key industry driven skills requirement by the private horticulture sector in the domain of water smart agri/horticulture. The greenhouse will serve the purpose of boosting skills and employability of graduates. The greenhouse is part of a greater triple helix platform approach, which will support collaboration between multiple stakeholders from the education, private, and public sectors in the Motheo region.

About the project
The project combines the promotion of agriculture growth and sustainable & equitable water use. It concentrates on educating young people in the field of optimizing water usage & climate smart agriculture. 

The project is managed by Maastricht School of Management in collaboration with Stellenbosch University. Other consortium partner are: CINOP Global, Q-Point BV, Acacia Water BV, SaltFarm Texel from the Netherlands and AgriColleges International and Academy for Environmental Leadership from South Africa. The recipients of the project are Western Cape Department of Agriculture/Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute, Boland College, Vhembe TVET College, Motheo TVET College, Nkangala TVET College and Northern Cape Rural TVET College.

Orange Knowledge Programme
The project is part of the Orange Knowledge Programme (OKP) which is funded by the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and managed by Nuffic. For more information click here.

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