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.

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.

Changes to the skills levy system will see many smaller employers exempted from paying the monthly levy. This has been anticipated by the Services Seta who have undergone a major restructuring in anticipation of the loss of more than 90 percent of their member companies.

Despite changes to the Skills Development Act Regulations, Setas still require consultation with workers when preparing Workplace Skills Plans. But does that mean that the company has to have a committee? Maybe not.

"The Investors in People standard is alive and well and gaining momentum in the banking sector in South Africa,' says Bankseta ETQA and Investors in People Manager, Daphne Hamilton.

As the role of the Skills Development Facilitator matures, their status in business will change. Should SDFs now be housed under the Human Resources profession ETQA and have a qualification before fulfilling the skills planning role?

The Esdle or group training initiative has been promoted as a way for small businesses to access the benefits of the learnership programme without incurring the administrative burden. The excellent post-learnership employment rate achieved by the I-Fundi Esdle leads the Minister of Labour to believe this is a model that can work.

Do the new regulations released in July mean that employers no longer have to consult with their employees about their Workplace Skills Plan? And what about the role of the SDF under these new rules? We have a look at the new rules and assess their implications.

Services Seta CEO Ivor Blumenthal characterises claims about him in a recent article on The Skills Portal as 'rubbish' - and says individuals concerned back his side of the story. We publish his full response.

Services Seta chief executive Ivor Blumenthal, who caused a furore in May with comments that the National Skills Development Strategy could sound the death knell for private training providers, is again in hot water - this time over remarks concerning the future of skills development facilitators.

The Seta for the banking and micro-finance sector has developed a strategy matrix to ensure that it meets the new targets that it has been set by the second National Skills Development Strategy.

The Minister of Labour has proposed that FET Colleges should be moved from the Education Department to the juristiction of the Department of Labour to enhance the delivery of skills training.

Ensuring that their learnership projects achieve the highest educational level is not a burden for In-tuition, it is non-negotiable for this dynamic Cape-based training provider.

The Foodbev Seta has held graduation ceremonies in Johannesburg and Cape Town for more than 550 learners who have successfully completed learnership projects in their sector.

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