JOHANNESBURG, Oct. 3 (Xinhua) — The BRICS Future Skills Challenge is important in the bloc’s cooperation in preparing the youths for the future to take part in the countries’ development, said a South African senior government official on Wednesday.

South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training, Buti Manamela said this on Wednesday while touring the BRICS 2018 Future Skills Challenge and Expo in Johannesburg.

“The skills displayed here shows how the future will look like. It is interesting to see the skills we have under one roof building robots and drones from scratch. It shows some teamwork with the youths working together learning from each other,” said Manamela.

The teams taking part in the skills challenge comprises of entrepreneurs and innovators from the five BRICS countries. The young innovators compete in areas of industrial robotics, 3D printing, drone technology, automation, cyber security and data analytics.

He said that the skills challenge will prepare the youth to be ready for the 4th industrial revolution. Manamela also revealed he met the Chinese delegation and they discussed how the South African youths and lecturers can have exchange programs to learn from each other.

Lebogang Letsoalo, chairperson of Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority (merSETA), told Xinhua that South African youths benefit from working with innovators from technically advanced countries like China.

South Africa’s participation in the the skills challenge will improve the country’s competitiveness and economic growth. South African youth will learn new skills by collaboration and prepare for the future of the country with skilled personnel, she added.

Marcello Strehl, manager of Brazilian software company Senaj, said it’s great to work with innovators from different BRICS countries monitoring the machines, making mistakes, identifying the problem and solving it.

“This is not competition but a challenge to learn from each other in solving problems. New technology is the pillar of future development. We have to do more with less,” he added.

The BRICS 2018 Future Skills Challenge and Expo started on Monday and will end on Friday. Certificates will be given to some participants. Many companies showcased some innovations during the expo. Students from the South African universities, technical and vocational training colleges and schools attended the expo.