Third Annual Garden Route Skills Summit will take place on 19 and 20 March 2020 in Knysna

The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), in collaboration with the B-municipalities in the district and the Western Cape Provincial Government, will be hosting its annual District Skills Summit on 19 and 20 March 2020 in Knysna (as per the 2019 Summit Resolutions). 

The overarching objective of the summit is: “Bridging the skills gaps in order to position the district towards investment and economic development opportunities” with the following added – “while gearing all sectors to make the most of the fourth industrial revolution”.  The Fourth Industrial Revolution represents a fundamental change in the way we live, work and relate to one another. Advances are merging the physical, digital and biological worlds in ways that create both huge promise and potential peril.

According to the Executive Mayor of GRDM, Cllr Memory Booysen, “Progress is only possible through collaboration across all stakeholders with the Business community leading, supported by all spheres of Government, Organised Labour, the Community sector as well as the LGSETA and other SETA’s and the National Skills Fund. International best practice shows where employers are willing leaders and other stakeholders willing partners, success is achieved in the overall planning and implementation phases of skills development projects. All these progressive ventures take place under the ‘umbrella’ of the Skills Mecca concept for the region.”

This year’s summit follows a resolution taken at the 2018 Garden Route District Skills Summit held on 01 February 2018 in George, during which it was resolved to take the concept of a Garden Route Skills Mecca forward and review progress on an annual basis.   The idea of a Skills Mecca originates from the Garden Route Rebuild Initiative (GRRI), which followed the devastating fires that hit the district (Knysna/Plettenberg Bay) in June 2017.  Since last year’s summit, municipalities in the district, in collaboration with various stakeholders, among others, the local Business Chambers and Provincial Government,  progressively worked together in order to bring about and implement the Garden Route Skills Mecca concept.

The 2020 Skills Summit will focus mainly on the achievements of the previous year’s implementation of the summit resolutions. The “show and tell” (presentation/competition) will give municipalities an opportunity to showcase a project that was implemented within their respective municipal areas. The 2020 Skills Summit will also be focused on how to accelerate the district-wide Skills Mecca, and also to evaluate the resolutions determined in 2019 towards making the Garden Route a preferred pristine destination for learning in the country and continent.  

Other role-players involved are:

– Local Businesses

– Garden Route Business Chambers

– MECs

– District Mayors

– District Municipal Managers

– Corporate Services Managers

– LED Managers

– Tourism Managers

– Skills Development Facilitator

– Youth Coordinators

– Various government departments

– Western Cape Government

– Local NGOs

The following resolutions were taken during the 2019 Skills Summit:

  • Continue and accelerate collaboration and cooperation among all District skills development role players.
  • Ensure that the Skills Development leverages digital infrastructure as far as possible to ensure learning and processes methods are and remain cutting edge.
  • As far as possible link Skills Development to Investment and Economic Development opportunities to the advancement for all.
  • Ensure that all Skills Development processes in the Garden Route ALWAYS proactively considers renewable energy.
  • Engage with all willing partners, in particular the SETAs and the National Skills Fund, to explore the development and implementation of projects across the District. 
  • Consider and leverage local skilled people, including retired people, within the District, to accelerate the growth of the Skills Mecca.
  • All public and / or private skills development projects and/or programmes in all municipalities are acknowledged, recorded on Skills Mecca on line solution and supported within resource limitations.
  • Progressively support the development of the new apprenticeship of 21st Century (A21) in the District
  • Budget, plan and implement an annual Skills Summit that is held in a different local municipality rotationally and alphabetically….2020 – Knysna – proposed on 5 March 2020.

Municipalities are expected to prepare and present a case study of an actual skills development project implemented within their municipality at this year’s Summit. A ten minute presentation will form part of a competition to determine the annual Garden Route Skills Mecca Champion for 2020.  Presentations will be evaluated by the delegates on the day of the event through a simple ballot system.  Each case study will be judged against three criteria:

  • Did the partnerships in the project add value? – Yes or No?
  • Did the project support transformation in a creative way? – Yes or No?
  • Did the project make learners more employable? – Yes or No?

The envisaged outcome of the Summit is to ”fine-tune” the resolutions from 2019 and develop ideas on how to accelerate implementation of the Skills Mecca in the Garden Route. The Skills Summit will be an annual event on a rotational basis; municipalities therefore also need to budget and plan towards this purpose. The 2019 Skills Summit attracted approximately 180 people in Stilbay, while arrangements are in place to accommodate 200 – 250 people this year.

For more information contact the GRDM’s Training and Development Section, Mr Reginald Salmons at 044 803 1363. 

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