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Joint Initiative on Priority Skills Acquisition (JIPSA)

Skills development and skills exchange needed in South Africa.

Unemployment and poverty is bad news. Many people are poor and jobless because they do not have skills. That is why the South African government is spending a lot of money to develop the skills most needed by our fast-growing economy.

Biggest challenge

This Government started the Joint Initiative on Priority Skills Acquisition (JIPSA) to develop the skills that are most urgently needed. Jipsa is one of the most important parts of the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (ASGISA).

Deputy President, Phumsile Mlambo-Ngcuka, is leading JIPSA. She says the biggest challenge facing the economy is the shortage of skills. She launched JIPSA in March 2006.

Click here to read her speech at the launch.


At the launch of JIPSA she said they will talk to unemployed students who have studied at universities or colleges; retired experts; and people from other countries who have useful skills for our economy. They can pass their knowledge on to those who need it.

Other countries

As part of JIPSA, trainees are sent to other countries to get special skills. One of JIPSA’s aims is also to find ways of helping unemployed students who have finished their studies, to find jobs. JIPSA has a Technical Working Group led by the secretary-general of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Gwede Mantashe.

Scarce skills

JIPSA will look at developing scarce skills in the following areas:

  • Engineering and planning skills for jobs in transport, communications and energy;
  • Engineering projects for cities and towns needed by municipalities;
  • Management and planning skills in education, health and municipalities;
  • Teacher training for mathematics, science, information and communications technology and language skills.

JIPSA and the Netherlands

Deputy President, Phumsile Mlambo-Ngcuka was in the Netherlands on November 5th 2007 at the South African embassy in the Hague to follow up on her first JIPSA visit, one year after the launch in 2006 at Price Waterhouse & Coopers. OAVM is one of the companies who is specifically asked to participate at the JIPSA project in the Netherlands.


OAVM is looking for companies in the Netherlands who want to train students from South Africa for at least 3 months in various companies. Especially management or organisational internships are apreciated because these are the functions where the lack of experience is the highest. Airline tickets and visa expenses will be paid by the South African government. The company which provides the internal training will provide the 'pocket money' and full board. If you want more information please contact us.