The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) will in the 2023/24 financial year award bursaries – valued at R16 million – to youth who will study towards Built Environment qualifications.
Through the department’s Young Professional Programme, 79 candidates will be recruited for the 2023/24 financial year.
Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Sihle Zikalala said more needs to be done to address the skills shortages and to train black women in particular in the Built Environment.
Bursaries for Built Environment students
“We support the call by the Council for the Built Environment (CBE) that public sector employees in the department should be supported to obtain professional qualification in an effort to build the capabilities of the developmental State and to better manage contracts,” Zikalala said when tabling his department’s 2023/24 Budget Vote in Cape Town.
Zikalala said currently, 108 young people are employed under the Work Integrated Learning Programme and Graduate Internship Programme.
“A total number of 1 500 youths will be appointed under the Graduates and Work Integrated Learning Programme Internships within the Built Environment fields across all provinces.
“We intend training at least 200 youths under the Ocean Economy Skills Development Programmes. In addition, 500 unemployed youths will be appointed under Water and Energy Efficiencies Skills Development Programmes,” the Minister said.
Zikalala said by the end of July 2023, the CBE will engage stakeholders to develop a position paper on the possibility of establishing a DPWI Skills Academy or College to address the skills needs of the department and the sector.
“In 2023/24, the CBE will partner with the National School of Government (NSG) to conduct a skills audit and support skills development in Design Thinking, Project Management and Contract Management.”
Earlier this year, the department handed over bursaries to matriculants, who have enrolled to study various Built Environment courses at universities across the country for the 2023 academic year.
The awarding of the bursaries forms part of the DPWI’s Skills Pipeline Programme. This is part of government efforts to bring more skilled professionals into the public sector, specifically the Built Environment.
As part of building a capable and ethical State, the department annually awards bursaries to pupils in need of financial assistance, who display excellence and have been accepted for courses in the Built Environment for their tertiary education