There are 50 public FET Colleges in the country - go on : www.careerhelp.org.za (do a Search : “FET colleges”)
They offer a wide range of studies in engineering/artisans, services (hairdressing, child care, cosmetology, catering, commercial, tourism), business (secretary, financial, clerical work), computers, arts, agriculture, etc.
The studies are more practical than at Universities and more appropriate to work requirements. For instance, if you study accounting, you will do 18 months of theory and 18 months of internship in a company. At the end, you will get National Diploma, equivalent the one you get at University. But you will have work experience and many employers prefer to hire someone who is already trained for the job.
There are also plenty of job opportunities for artisans (there will a shortage of 40 000 artisans until 2016), like electricians, carpenters, plumbers, etc.
The 3 years studies lead to a :
- NCV (National Certificate Vocational) certificate : for learners who completed Grade 9. The certificate is equivalent to Matric (NQF level 4)
- Nated (Nated National Technical Education) programmes : for learners who have completed Grade 12 lead to a national diploma (NQF level 6),
FET colleges offer also bridging courses in Math, Science and other subjects.
Students who qualify for financial assistance can get a loan from NSFAS. There also bursaries available for poor learners.
Our advise :
- Visit the FET college before enrolling with them, speak to learners and teachers and ask for career advice. One department in a college can be excellent while the other is the opposite. You need to do your own research...
- Check the level of the certificate (level 5-8) -
- Check registration dates, every Semester to be able to book your place and avoid disappointment. Some studies, like Engineering, are full after 2 days. The registration for 2012 is in January next year