Analysing training needs of TVET teachers in South Africa: An empirical study


  • Bernd Zinn University of Stuttgart, Germany
  • Kevin Raisch University of Stuttgart, Germany
  • Jennifer Reimann University of Stuttgart, Germany



Internationalization, Vocational Education and Training, Vocational Teachers, VET, Further Education, Public TVET College, South Africa


Context: This paper reports on a study of the progress of vocational education and training (VET) and the need for further profession-oriented training of lecturers in public, technical vocational colleges in South Africa, under the consideration of societal and political conditions.

Approach: The study is based on a mixed methods approach in which an analysis of educational policy documents and a qualitative and a quantitative study with VET teachers and representatives of education authorities in South Africa are conducted.

Findings: The classification of the results is conducted in line with the conditions defined by Phillips and Ochs regarding policy transfers. The following can thus be observed through the bilateral relationship between Germany and South Africa: (1) The Guiding Philosophy of the educational system is characterised by societal and political power structures. This is evident in an analysis of approved reforms within the last two decades. (2) The desired effects of “Ambitions Goals” have thus far not taken hold. Nonetheless, there is a willingness to enact reforms to continue developing vocational education, including the training and further education of lecturers that must be noted. Minimum requirements regarding lecturers’ basic qualifications have been formulated, which one in five vocational lecturers in South Africa currently cannot fulfil. (3) The Strategies formulated to implement training methods face the main problem of difficulty in implementation in colleges. (4) The Enabling Structures, i.e. the education-management-system as well as the financial and personnel support of the educational system, are widely perceived by lecturers as unsupportive, ineffective and discriminatory. This is observed, for example, when looking at the equipment used, teachers’ salaries, classroom sizes as well as the mentorship programme and further training opportunities. (5) Processes: a discrepancy exists on the level of the lecturers and the central need for further training regarding modern technologies, especially those used by foreign firms in their production in South Africa. (6) The results of the conducted study document a high variation of qualifications among TVET lecturers when it examines their teaching Techniques.

Conclusions: Overall, the empirical results of the study reveal a complex structure with respect to the requirements for further training of TVET lecturers, describe central needs for further training of lecturers and deliver connectable knowledge for both the practical educational advancement of lecturer training and further education training, as well as for research in the context of the internationalisation of vocational training in South Africa. 


Final Publication Date


How to Cite

Zinn, B., Raisch, K., & Reimann, J. (2019). Analysing training needs of TVET teachers in South Africa: An empirical study. International Journal for Research in Vocational Education and Training, 6(2), 174–197.