Students face many obstacles when entering the job market. In some fields supply outstrips demand, which has the effect of graduates ending up in jobs in fields they did not train for.

In other cases, graduates lack the minimum of three to four years of work experience in their field of study, which is often a requirement for jobs advertised. Without support from their colleges, students generally struggle to break into the job market and frequently end up in employment that is unrelated to their training.

An effective link between the delivery of education vs responsiveness and excellence is the engagement of a College with Industry, government departments, other institutions and community organisations locally, nationally and internationally.

Partnerships are a strong indicator of the capacity of a college to be responsive to local, national and international training needs.  As such, this indicator serves as an important measure of the extent to which colleges are reaching beyond the boundaries of traditional educational approaches so that their training is more relevant and benchmarked with best practices.

Good relations with Business and Industry and the community ensure that we continue to serve both our students and prospective employers with training that is both relevant and effective.

To this effect the College established a Business Development and Innovation Unit linked to the Academic Unit with a purpose of dealing with the Occupationally directed programmes. Amongst the responsibilities of the Unit is the establishment of partnerships with various stakeholders which in the main are industries, government departments and other big businesses within the catchment area of the College.

Up to 2018 our footprint was found in three Local Municipalities, i.e. Mbombela Local Municipality (Central Office, Nelspruit Campus, Kanyamazane Campus, Barberton Campus and Mthimba Campus), Bushbuckridge Local Municipality (Mapulaneng Campus and in the Nkomasi Local Municipality (Mlumati Campus).

When the Glencore Lydenburg Smelter team approached the College in August 2018 to indicate that they would like to assist the College to establish a fully-fledged campus in Mashishing we did not hesitate one moment to grab the opportunity with both hands as that meant that the Ehlanzeni College footprint would henceforth be in all the local municipalities of the Ehlanzeni District as we previously did not have a formal campus in the Thaba Chweu Local Municipality.

The Glencore team, led by Mr Conroy Van Der Westhuizen, General Manager CSI Glencore Alloys, Mr Louis Van Rhyn, Works Manager, Glencore Lydenburg Smelter, Mr R Matodzi, General Works Manager Glencore Lydenburg Smelter and Mr Poloko Baraganye, Human Resource Development, gave meaning to the Walt Disney slogan:  If you can dream it you can do it!  Within no time after we have decided to go on a journey with Glencore the ball started to roll!  We all gathered what is now the Mashishing Campus, in totally dilapidated Public Works facilities and was asked what are the basics needed in a campus.  We must indicate that although we listed what was needed and needed for mid-January 2019 when the College Academic year begins, we were quite sceptical if what was planned is actually realistic – until we started to see magic happening!  What once was an unutilized dilapidated facility started to get a new lease on life.  On a lighter note we would also like to share the “nickname” of Mr Louis Van Rhyn – due to his approach that there is only one basic approach and that is that if you said it will be done then it will be done with no excuses, he was fondly named “Mr Delivery”!  And did the Glencore team not deliver!! Confucius once said:  A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step We would like to thank Glencore for taking the 1st step to give Ehlanzeni College an opportunity to make a difference in Mashishing and surrounding communities. Education can change a situation, an environment, a story, a mind, a direction, a path, a future, a life!!! Madiba said that Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world and we can already see the power of these words by just looking at our students; how proud they are of their campus, how committed and disciplined they are when it comes to their studies – they have one goal and that is to make sure they perform academically.

We salute Glencore for the gift they have given the young people of Mashishing by investing more than R7m in establishing the Mashishing Campus. On behalf of Ehlanzeni College, we would like to say we are committed to make a success of this Campus and we believe that on the 4th of October 2019, when the Campus was officially opened and handed over to Ehlanzeni College, we gave our first step to start our journey of a thousand miles.  The opening event was graced by The Mayor of Thaba Chweu Municipality, Cllr MF Nkandimeng, Glencore Alloys SA CEO, Mr J Fullard and his team, the Regional Manager for Mpumalanga and North West, Mr N Balkrishen on behalf of the Minister of Higher Education and Training, representatives from the Department of Public Works, the College Management, the media and campus staff and students.

History abounds with tales of experts who were convinced that the ideas, plans, and projects of others could never be achieved. However, accomplishment came to those who said, “I can make it happen.” It is indeed a significant moment in time for all of us as Glencore made it happen! Mr Japie Fullard, CEO of Glencore Alloys SA and his team, are examples of working for a cause and not for applause and Ehlanzeni College is looking forward to our continued partnership with Glencore.

This Public Private Partnership between Glencore and Ehlanzeni College will contribute to the reducing of the NEET cohort, an increased number of qualified TVET College graduates and graduates who are employable and is an excellent example of how Industry and TVET Colleges should work together. The Ehlanzeni College team is 100% committed to ensure that this Campus will become the flagship Engineering and Artisan Development Hub in the Ehlanzeni District. In the words of former President Thabo Mbeki:  So let us roll up our sleeves and get down to work, fully understanding that the task to build the SA for which we yearn is a common responsibility we all share.”

In this area the College had been able to secure and maintain partnerships with the stakeholders as enumerated below: