Perceptions of being a contractor in the ETD field


Group meeting

Working in the field of Education, Training and Development as a practitioner has many notable challenges. One of these factors is the dynamic of working on a contract basis.  For many industry employers, the position of the ETD practitioner is often not one in which they feel comfortable offering permanent positions.

In research surveys conducted by Omni HR Consulting focus was put onto “Understanding the perceptions and expectations of Education, Training and Development Practitioners in South Africa”.

Questions asked related to perceptions of contract employment in lieu of more permanent agreements.  A total of 68 participating respondents, resulted in the following insights and findings:

  • 52,94% indicated that it is an exclusively contractual-based role
  • 38,24% believed that it is a contractual-based role with the possibility of full-time work.

This shows that the perception from the perspective of the employees is one which is noticeably skewed in favour of transience rather than permanence. A possible result of this figure is one that involves the competitive nature of the industry. Responding to perceptions of competitiveness:

  • 42,64% found the industry to be highly competitive
  • 27,94% found it to be competitive
  • 14,71% said it was partially competitive; and
  • only2,94% claimed it was not competitive at all

What was highly encouraging is that:

  • 97,06% indicated that they were passionate about ETD
  • 79,41% claimed they would be willing to continue in the field even if there were no opportunities for full-time employment.

Lack of job security in this regard is probably seen as something that is a given and accepted by those who wish to enter the field. The statistics indicate that this dynamic does little to deter those already in the field.

  • 93,65% of respondents claimed they were satisfied to be an ETD practitioner in South Africa
  • 6,35% indicated that they were not satisfied.

Being an ETD practitioner in South Africa is not something that exists in a vacuum. There are external factors that affect everything in context. As such, a close eye needs to be kept on the role itself, as well as factors that influence the field including influences on employees, employers and clients.


Contributor: Greg Beyer

Researcher at Omni Academy for Education, Training and Development


Moldenhauer, L., Londt, C., and le Grange, J. (2018). Education, Training and Development Practitioners and the Entrepreneurship Model in Outcomes-Based Adult Education in South Africa. Presented at 6th International Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship 2018 (ICIE18) Washington.