FIFTEEN South African students will spend six months in Beijing being trained in all aspects of jewellery design.
Accompanied by Deputy Tourism Minister Tokozile Xasa, the students left for China on 29 March.
They will receive training from SA Vaal Star Diamond, a company based in Beijing. This is the third year that the programme has been running.
Sponsored by Ms Xasa, the students were selected from participating universities across South Africa. The training is not specifically for art or design students but for those who were willing to learn about the trade.
The students will learn about sourcing raw materials, packaging and design as well as selling.
Catering, accommodation and stipends for the students will be provided by SA Vaal Star Diamond.
The initiative aims to develop the participants’ business skills, allowing them to make a positive contribution to local development and job creation through their active participation in the mainstream economy.
“This programme is another testimony to the government’s commitment to decreasing unemployment rate and lack of skills among young people,” Xasa said.
“I am excited about the programme and optimistic that the youngsters will make use of the skill and technique acquired during the six months period for their benefit and that of the country.”
South Africa and China established diplomatic ties in 1998. The countries now enjoy a close bilateral relationship.