On Tuesday, Ambassador of Japan, Shigeyuki Hiroki, presented Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa with a Letter of Intent outlining Japan's initiative to provide training to South African artisans.
The presentation was part of the third Japan Seminar, hosted in Johannesburg, by the Japan External Trade Organisation, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industries and the Embassy of Japan.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who recently led a delegation of government and business to Japan, addressed the seminar where he said Japan had a huge role to play in the development of South Africa's capabilities with respect to marine transport, ports management and engineering, offshore oil and gas exploration, and aquaculture.
Deputy President Ramaphosa said Japan is currently involved in implementing capacity building and training projects.
“The Smallholder Horticulture Empowerment Project, for example, has implemented training in Japan for agricultural experts from South Africa.
"We know that South Africa's competitive success must be supported and sustained by an investment in human resource development. It is for this reason that education is an apex priority of our government. Japan is a valuable partner in the work we are doing to educate and skill our people,” said Deputy President Ramaphosa.
The Deputy President said they look to Japan to share with the country innovative ways of attracting and keeping young people in the fields of maths and science.
Deputy President Ramaphosa, who also chairs the Human Resource Development Council, welcomed the Japanese government's new commitment on artisan training, which is also one of the focal areas of work for the Council.
“Japan's support in this regard is vital to the success of South Africa's expansive infrastructure development programme, which in turn enables economic activity in the country and brings basic services to South Africans who need it.
“Given the labour-absorbing nature of these projects, they also make a critical contribution to the fight against unemployment.”
South Africa's cooperation with Japan in human resource development adds impetus to the declaration last year by the Ministry of Higher Education and Training of 2014-2024 as the Decade of the Artisan.
This initiative, the Deputy President added, seeks to create a pipeline of qualified artisans, who can play a crucial role in growing the emerging sectors of South Africa's economy and in turn create massive employment for the youth.
Government called on the private sector to become more engaged in supporting Technical and Vocational Educating and Training Colleges. Government also encourages young South Africans to take up the growing number of opportunities in the country and in partner countries such as Japan to acquire skills that will benefit their lives and the economy at large