An outcomes-based training model for textile technologists
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The textile industry in South Africa is regarded as a labour intensive industry with high capital investment. Presently, the textile industry is facing the impact that globalisation will have on the local industry, which emphasises the importance of training and development in the face of decreasing levels of human resources. These decreasing levels of employment will result in the loss of highly technical expertise with no replacement source in the labour market, unless textile technologists are educated to compensate for the loss. The White Paper on the Transformation of Higher Education (1997) indicates that one of the purposes of higher education is to proVide the labour market, in a knowledgedriven and knowledge-dependent society, with the high-level competencies and expertise necessary for the growth and prosperity of a modern global economy. The establishment of the National Qualifications Framework in South Africa has diluted the rigid boundaries between education and training, requiring of Higher Education to establish programmes that are responsive to the needs of industry. The focus of this research project is to develop and evaluate an outcomes-based textile technologist curriculum based on the education and training needs of the Western Cape textile industry in particular, as a result of environmental changes impacting on the South African textile industry in general. The development and evaluation of an outcomes-based qualification in textile technology take place Within a world of constant change, where work and education are becoming increasingly interwoven, stressing the importance for higher education in South Africa to transform by developing learning programmes in harmony with industry and by specialising in making knowledge useful and applicable.