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.

Education and Skills Development form a key focus area for the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative, Asgisa. Once again the lack of skills is identified as a major problem for the country and a number of initiatives are planned to address the problem.

As announced by President Mbeki, a new national body will be formed of all stakeholder groups to co-ordinate efforts to address the country?s skills shortage.

Minister of Labour, Membathisi Mdladlana, made the point very strongly when questioned about apprenticeships: they are not banned and employers are encouraged to take on apprentices in their workplaces.

The Minister of Labour was on hand for a briefing on the successes achieved by the Department?s skills development activities over the last year, including an increase in learners on learnerships and a big decrease in funds sitting in Seta bank accounts.

As part of the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative, the President has announced a new national body to address the country's skills challenge.

While only a small number of employees in the Fasset sector require ABET training, the Seta has not forgotten about them. A training programme at the National Treasury was recently completed.

Trevor Rammitlwa is the new Skills Development and Learnership manager at Bankseta, and he is working hard to get even more companes in his sector participating in skills development initiatives.

A Fasset-funded accounting graduate support programme has achieved a 100% pass rate from learners and more than 70% have been placed in employment.

Recent publiction by Harlan Cloete, "South African Works" covers the areas of skills development and HR policy in a 'concise and succinct manner' according to our reviewer.

A group from the banking sector who spent time in Canada as part of a Bankseta project have benefited greatly from the experience. General Secretary Richard Plant is full of praise for the project.

A national newspaper was the setting for a financial rumpus, with Services Seta CEO Ivor Blumenthal attacking Treasury policies, and Trevor Manuel's spokesperson hitting back by questioning the Services Setas' financial management.

George Bernard Shaw may have thought that youth was wasted on the young, but Services Seta CEO Ivor Blumenthal believes that, too often, training is wasted on them too.

The Transport Seta and FET Colleges have joined hands in a groundbreaking partnership that will fast-track the process for learners to have prior learning recognised toward achieving a recognised qualification or unit standards.

With a complicated policy infrastructure including various acts or parliament, regulations and strategy documents the openings for legal action are many and varied. Marietta van Rooyen from Assessment College has a stark warning for trainers and educators: "Be aware, be very aware".

At a recent event for Skills Development Facilitators, Bankseta CEO Frank Groenewald explained how the Seta was aligning itself to meet NSDS targets and continue to play a role in social transformation.

Fasset Seta CEO Cheryl James has announced that a further R32m has been allocated by the Seta to social development projects.

Fasset has good reason to celebrate: 100 learners recently "graduated' from the Stanley Hutcheson and Associates Work Readiness Pilot Programme, funded by Fasset.

"Instead of simplifying the entire quality assurance system, we are embellishing it. We have to streamline the whole process,' says Bankseta ETQA manager Daphne Hamilton. A sentiment that will probably get much support!

Marietta van Rooyen from Assessment College is concerned that the ambiguities and contradictions emanating from the different Acts that govern education and training is seriously debilitating providers and learners.

The national Cabinet has committed the government to equipping South Africans with the skills needed by the economy and will also be recruiting South Africans now living abroad.

Recognising the dire need to increase the number of Black CAs, Fasset has agreed to fund 128 learners on the CTA programme and has provided over R3.9m in funding.

More than 350 Community Development Workers have "graduated' from the University of the Western Cape after a 12-month programme that has prepared them to be the mouths of government and the voices of the communities they serve.

The Minister of Labour has appointed members to the new National Skills Authority, the body which advises him on skills development issues. Dr Khotso Mokhele, a director at Implats and head of the National Research Foundation, has been appointed to chair the NSA.

2006 will see the Bankseta implementing their five, identified sector priority projects to support the goals of the National Skills Develoment Strategy.


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