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With the aim to enhance Maritime Studies and to build new partnerships, uMfolozi TVET College met with the Zululand Yacht Club (ZYC) and the National Development Association on Friday, 13 March 2020. ZYC Vice Commodore, Jackie Smit, said there was a dire need for accreditation for the skills they provide at the Yacht Club which are needed throughout the world.

“ZYC is actively involved in Zululand tourism as they are the first port of call for any international yachts arriving in South Africa from the Indian Ocean. The Club currently offers internships to tourism and administration students. The Club could look at offering possible internships for students from the College studying Tourism and from the Marine division,” explained Smit.

ZYC currently employs around 80 people at the boatyard and 28 full time employees. For this reason NDA stepped in and asked the College to meet with ZYC so that the College can accredit their skills training. College Acting Principal, Elsie Du Toit, welcomed this initiative by the NDA stating, “The College is aware of the involvement of the NDA at government level. It is equally important for the College to forge partnerships with ZYC in order to tweak and capitalize on Maritime skills currently offered by the College. Both institutions can hugely benefit from each other as ZYC has the practical side to offer which is always very sought after.”

Du Toit went on to say that it’s of importance to focus on the local market than the international market as there is a need to absorb more people in the local market as far as fishing, yachting and maritime skills. The meeting took place at a strategic time for the College as the experience and expertise facilities are readily available. It’s a matter of juggling the sequence of events and to structure a partnership between the two stakeholders.

The next step to take is to generate a list of short courses and the qualifications needed so that the correct curriculum can be established.