Skills Development

Skills Development in South Africa is governed under the Skills Development Act 97 of 1998, which has subsequently been amended a number of times. The national government's Department of Higher Education and Training is responsible for managing and developing all higher education and skills development training. The current Minister is Dr Blade Nzimande.

Cheryl James confirms that while the Fasset financial statements may show some money still in the bank, they aren't unspent funds. The Fasset CEO explains that failure to understand accounting practices has lead to some unfortunate urban legends about Seta spending.

The sudden closure of the Marketing Federation of South Africa, with debts of R5m, has caused significant concern in the industry. Services Seta CEO Ivor Blumenthal believes that key role players must ensure the well being of the sector, and has convened a meeting to discuss the way forward.

Assessment College's Mariatta van Rooyen has been having a few problems dealing with their ETQA. "In March 2005 we received 3400 letters of endorsement from the ETDP Seta. We could only post out 590 of these, as the rest were duplications". Don't worry, there's more...

Durban-based group training initiative, Jobworx is currently recruiting 340 unemployed individuals to take part in a learnership that will see them receive a National Certificate in General Security Practices.

CTFL's Hoosen Rasool and Busa's Vic van Vuuren have a clear message for skills development facilitators and other players in the vocational training arena. They need to broaden their knowledge of the context and practices of business in South Africa if they wish to gain credibility in the workplace and be taken seriously by their employers.

Delegates at the Teta Seta AGM heard that the organisation has paid out R78m in mandatory grants and R32m in discretionary grants in the last financial year. Priorities now are to assist designated groups and new entrants to acquire critical skills that the sector requires.

While Services Seta CEO, Ivor Blumenthal thinks young people should become entrepreneurs, he urges them to get work experience and a good business education before setting out on their own. The Seta's pre-learnership project hopes to ease the transition from school to work for young people.

A group of mostly non-governmental organisations recently launched the Environmental Learning Forum to provide a platform for networking and collaboration for all stakeholders dealing with environment and sustainability.

At the Bankseta AGM stakeholders were able to look back on a very successful year with more employees in the sector undergoing structured training than ever before - and full marks from the Department of Labour's ratings team.

The National Skills Development Strategy, the second five-year phase of which came into effect only a few months ago, is already obsolete and inherently flawed, according to one Seta boss.

According to the CEO of the new Safety and Security Seta, the future is looking bright for the organisation which will now have the resources to ensure effective skills development in the safety and security sectors.

The increased number of Workplace Skills Plans submitted in the finance and accounting sector shows that the work of the Fasset Seta is paying dividends.

Financial services Seta Fasset is supporting a Stellenbosch University programme that helps learners from disadvantaged schools improve their Matric marks - and open the doors to higher education.

Professional Chef Johannes Kaledi with 24 years of experience has undertaken to mentor and impart his cooking skills to seven young people with disabilities, free of charge.

They may only be five years old, but we still expect Setas to have all the answers on skills development. Alan Hammond thinks it is time that we all took responsibility for making the system a success - rather than relying on the Setas to do it for us.

The number of learners signed onto learnerships is often regarded as the hallmark of Seta success. "While learnerships only constitute one benchmark for Seta success, we are delighted to report that Fasset has acquitted itself very well on this front, as well as many others,' says CEO Cheryl James.

The Services Seta has launched a school pre-learnership project that will assist learners in gaining the skills required in the workplace while still at school. The project will be rolling out to eight provinces in the next month.

If all this talk of Workplace Skills Plans is new to you, we've compiled an introductory guide to skills development for small companies. While each Seta has slightly different requirements, we've outlined the basics that should get you on your way. Read this article and then speak to your Seta to confirm whether their procedures are different.

Bankseta has identified youth development as one of the Seta?s key areas of focus over the next five years - building on in the success of 1 500 who have already taken part in the Letsema Learnership project.

Even when armed with the relevant academic knowledge, first-time employees can still struggle to get to grips with performing well in a corporate environment. Fasset is attempting to alleviate this problem with its work readiness programme - Thuthuka.

The new version of the National Skills Development Strategy calls on Setas to establish Institutes of Sectoral Excellence, but doesn't give any indication of what these bodies would look like. Services Seta CEO Ivor Blumenthal is the first to flesh out exactly how these institutes could work.

While the Department of Labour has decided not to continue with the Investors in People standard, that doesn't mean that IIP is no longer available in South Africa. Bankseta manager Daphne Hamilton has just completed a visit to the UK and she reports that a local license holder is on the cards.


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