Thousands qualify through SETA opportunities

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) play an important role in identifying the skills needs of every economic sector in the country.

He said thousands of artisans qualified through workplace training facilitated by SETAs.

The Deputy President said this when he responded to oral questions in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).

“[SETAs] have been particularly successful at identifying scarce and critical skills needs in the labour market and facilitating practical workplace experience for learners from universities and TVET colleges.

“Between 2012 and 2015, nearly 70 000 artisans qualified through workplace training opportunities facilitated by SETAs. In the same period, SETAs found work-based learning opportunities for over 186 000 learners,” he said.

The Deputy President said SETAs provided bursaries for nearly 60 000 learners across all economic sectors in almost all institutions in the country.

He said SETAs have also provided training to over 13 000 adult workers through adult education and training programmes.

SETA landscape under review
A member of the NCOP asked the Deputy President whether it is viable to have the Local Government Sector Education and Training Authority (LGSETA) and the Public Service Sector Education and Training Authority (PSETA) as separate entities, in light of the plans for a single public service.

The Deputy President said because SETAs have such a significant impact on the development of the country's human capital, it was important that sufficient attention be given to their design, mandate and operations.

“The Minister for Higher Education and Training [Dr Blade Nzimande] is responsible for making a determination as to the viability, number and economic classification of SETAs. The SETA landscape is currently being reviewed by the Department of Higher Education and Training. This review will take into account the potential impact of a single public service,” he said.

The Deputy President said in so doing, consideration will need to be given not only to the sheer size of the public service in all spheres of government, but also to the variety of functions, responsibilities and skills requirements.

“It must be remembered that SETAs are expected to keep a close link to those enterprises that contribute to their levy income and whose training needs they are meant to serve.
“If this constituency base is too large or diverse, there is a great possibility that it will neglect some while seeking to serve others.

Against this backdrop, the regulating department has indicated that it does not immediately intend to merge these two SETAs.

“However, there is every intention to increase cooperation between them,” he said. –