This study was conducted at the TVET College X in Gauteng province. The main aim of the study was to establish the way in which national certificate vocational learners are prepared by work integrated learning for industry. Twenty participants were sampled qualitatively from Campus X. The unemployment and poverty rates are high in South Africa and are accompanied by income inequalities, hence the implementation of further education and training policies in an effort to reduce these high rates. Researchers concur that South Africa needs to invest in education and training in order to bring the country’s human capital to a level that is consistent with sustainable economic development.
The establishment of a dual education system which integrates theory and practice is possible through the effective implementation of a curriculum that embraces work integrated learning. A high percentage of the learners at college X are exiting the national certificate vocational programme without either practical experience or exposure in industry. The study was based on the following research question, namely, How are national certificate vocational learners prepared by work integrated learning for industry?
The study findings, which emerged from the structured interviews which were conducted, revealed that lecturers are informed about what WIL is but not on how it should be implemented and, thus, they are generally not very enthusiastic about it. It would appear that they tend to see WIL as the obligation of the college management and WIL facilitators and, thus, are prepared to convey only what is in the curriculum. However, the curriculum does not include a variety of obligatory WIL exercises. While learners understand what WIL entails, they are concerned that the workplace placement component of their learning is not prioritised as this may later place them at a disadvantage when applying for attractive jobs in the labour market. Existing literature highlights the difficulties experienced in WIL implementation and the lack of implementation models, with this possibly being the reason why learners are not being viably prepared by WIL. A work integrated model for national certificate vocational institutions to better prepare learners for industry was developed based on the findings of the study.