Low skills development in South Africa can be attributed to weak education, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said on Friday.
"The skills development problems in our country could be attributed to the weakness in the education and training system, starting from early childhood development and continuing right through the school and post-school system and ongoing workplace professional development."
Motlanthe was speaking in Pretoria, where he released the mid-term report of the Human Resources Development Council of South Africa (HRDCSA).
The HRDCSA was established two years ago in recognition that education was a top priority and in response to the challenge of low skills-based development.
Motlanthe said the HRDCSA was created to drive a human resource development strategy for the country and to advise government on its implementation and other matters relating to human resources.
"The HRDCSA is made up of social partners from all segments of society including government, organised labour, organised business, academia and other organs of civil society."
The council in 2010 adopted a human resources development strategy for South Africa until 2030, which set broad priorities for the next 20 years.
"The strategy seeks to ensure universal access to quality basic education that is purposefully focused on dramatic improvement in skills to meet the demands of a growing economy," Motlanthe said.
The council adopted a five-point plan based on strengthening and supporting Further Education and Training colleges to increase access, production of intermediate skills and professionals, and foundational learning.
He said with the strategy and plans in place, the HRDCSA would now focus its energies on ensuring all social partners played their part in the implementation of the strategy.
"The commitment shown by all social partners gives us hope that over the next 20 years South Africa will see a radical improvement [in] skills development."