1st October 2012 at 7:04 pm #37030
The MICT SETA this week advised stakeholders that their Monitoring and Evaluation auditing process has revealed poor quality Workplace Skills Plans and Annual Training Reports.
Some examples of what the SETA has found are:
- “SDFs and employers who are submitting data in their ATR/WSP that has little bearing on what the actual situation is.
- In some instances, the employer does not know what the SDF has submitted. It is therefore concerning that employers sign off on the Authorisation Form, a document that is a declaration that all data provided is deemed to be accurate.”
In addition, there is concern about the Training Committees:
- “For companies having 50 or more employees, there are several instances where the Training Committee is fictitious. Furthermore, there are many instances where a manager signs the Authorisation Form as being the employee representative. The purpose of this skills development process is to include participation of employees.”
Now this is a contentious point because there is no requirement in the current legislation for a training committee; the regulations that introduced committees and SDFs were repealed a number of years ago. So while there is a clear requirement in Employment Equity legislation, and there is a concept of consultation in skills development, the committee is no longer a legislated requirement. That being said – whether it is legislated or not, it is surely a gross abuse to submit a “fictitious” committee.
The SETA also questions whether if the SDF cannot complete the Authorisation Form competently, what quality exists in the WSP and ATR body? Examples quoted are:
- ” blank Authorisation Forms … the Authorisation Form of the previous year being provided, signatures are missing, and the L number being incorrect.”
Surely, this poor quality casts a shadow over all SDFs, and causes one to wonder: what is the quality of other SETA submissions? Do they experience similar problems?
1st October 2012 at 8:48 pm #37037
I was rather disturbed as well coming from the company that falls under the mict and having checked and verified everything which I submitted. Just felt that this taints us as sdfs. If company’s are getting us to assist them and this is the quality we are seen to deliver, what’s going to happen in the future when things like budgets are cut? Obviously we will be considered a liability and be released first. Wish people took their work serious, yes reports can be tedious but why get into it if you not going to deliver?
Thanks for raising this Sylvia. Wouls like to hear if other setas are experiencing this.
Ps: Ive learned that setas are more than willing to assist if we keep them closer, ask questions, and not ony see them when we need to submit, worst even a week before 30th June when everyone is trying to submit and we get frustrated with the seta reps. just a thought.
2nd October 2012 at 7:04 am #37036
Mahlatse Isaac MotswegeMember
It is a matter of time that MICTS change to electronic format or version.The electronic version can only be approved with original hard copies of signature pages.It is MICTS’s challenge to replicate other SETA’s versions.SDF’s who are poorly managed and incompetent has not undergone training.Even though the training is so short nowadays,competency comes first.I think,it is time to introduce a full qualification,that includes practical training.Companies should also refrain from picking anyboby from their mist to complete their WSP’s.Electronic versions are aligned to OFO codes,which eliminates mistakes or wrongfully placement of positions.MICTS is to be blamed not SDF’s,because nobody knows as to whether those SDF’s are just picked intenally or their fully trained and qualified.A need for accurate monitoring systems is needed to avoid such poor performance,at this stage MICTS has failed themselves for poor monitoring quality assurance.
2nd October 2012 at 8:10 am #37035
I am both pleased and angry when I come across the MICT findings. Pleased because at last a SETA has analysed its WSPs! Angry because Politics and a lack of understanding have sabotaged what was a jolly good idea: that of skilling people to give them dignity, and growing the economy so that these newly skilled and confident people can have sustainable careers.
Much has to be changed and simplified in the South African skills development landscape if the DHET is serious about being a player in producing “a skilled and capable workforce that shares in, and contributes to, the benefits and opportunities of economic expansion and an inclusive growth path,” (NSDS III vision). It’s time to reduce unemployment and inequalities, and to grow the economy, and in order to do that, DHET and SETAs must put Politics aside and concentrate on what’s real out there. Just listen to the sane voices, even if you don’t understand them. Let’s do what’s good for the country for a change.
For starters, let’s remove the obstacles:
- Design a simple WSP model that can produce immediate results easily for both employer & SETA.
- Ensure that a properly trained HRD/Training practitioner completes WSPs in the work place (elicit the help of the SABPP or build the capacity amongst HR people, or hire HRD contractors – whatever). This is a specialist skill which has the potential to provide amazing labour market information for DHET and the DTI. Conducting skills audits, analysing training needs and producing WSPs (all 3 MUST work together) is not something a junior “SDF” can pull together without professional expertise.
- Understand that this is not a labour process. Insist that WSPs are placed on employer notice boards and in their share drives so that they are transparent. Don’t enforce work place committees. They are time consuming, their members often have hidden agendas, and in most instances meetings are gripe sessions which have very little to do with Equity or skills development.
- Understand that this is not an education process. Let Educationists understand that they are not the sole custodians of skills development. They can stick to qualifications development and QA (and be open to take advice from organisational experts). They must stand back when it’s time to implement work place training.
- Understand that this is not about getting more qualifications: it’s about being competent in a job. WSPs are about implementing training strategies which are linked to the organisation’s vision, mission and business plans, not a level of the NQF.
Secondly, allow learners to learn what will help them:
- Use levy funds to ensure recruited learners have the aptitude and desire to undertake the learnership for which they sign up.
- Provide strong work readiness training, including communication skills and work place etiquette. Have this training assessed (not necessarily accredited – another obstacle!), and allow learners to compete with each other for the available learnerships by ensuring that post-school institutions provide a character reference of each learner. There’s no place for takers in our society, people must be intrinsically motivated.
- Enforce a 1-year learnership period, do not provide the final tranche before the learner has completed the 12th month. If the learnership is completed before hand (see next bullet), then allow the learner to work in the organisation and build up a portfolio of work experience.
- Ensure that provision is contextualised for the learner’s sponsoring employer, not some academic clap-trap that they learnt at school. Control this by increasing the monitoring and evaluation of providers, and be decisive in suspending provider accreditation where provision is not related to the work place.
Thirdly, simplify quality assurance systems:
- Simplify the requirements for accreditation
- Implement SAQA’s regulations for moderators: field, as opposed to subject-experts. The latter are too narrow, leave them to do assessment only.
- Experience is a pearl. Empower the thousands of potentially good assessors who have unlimited experience and a great deal of wisdom, but didn’t pursue formal post-school qualification years ago. Provide a SIMPLE RPL process (a panel of experts, for instance) which need not be a certificated qualification, but at least a passport to become an assessor.
- Simplify and push RPL in the work place (fund it, encourage it through incentives, reward it).
- Some people think skills development is about about getting national qualifications – ya,well,no,fine – However what is the use of a qualification if you can’t get a job? Encourage skills programmes that are specific to work places…even in learnerships. Modify the learnership contract to suit the specific work place, and where that means a 30 credit skills programme, so be it (have the employer keep the learner for 12 months, however, so that there is work place experience).
- There should be a developmental approach to quality assurance. Providers who have a good track record (point system) should be audited once in 3 years, while small providers, those who are struggling, and new providers in need of help are assisted by … and here’s the rub … competent ETQA officials.
Finally, SETAs, please: train your staff! Let the SETA who has a Human Resources Development or Training Manager, stand up and be counted. I don’t believe it exists. Surely an organisation which is an Authority on Education and Training in a whole sector should at least show that they know how to Educate and Train their own staff?
That’s all folks. I know that none of my suggestions will be read by the right people, let alone implemented. So I may have wasted an hour of my time writing this, but at least my conscience is clear!
2nd October 2012 at 11:51 am #37034
Michelene Dianne BensonMember
Thank you for your hour and for you views … I did read it 🙂
I share the sentiment of happy they checked up vs angry at the lack of quality.
The experience pearl I resonate with too. With 20 yrs in the business I sailed through the accreditation but it has not changed much for me. Even volunteer assessing with great success to prove expertise after certification left me in the same boat.
At this point the sad face of skills development in this country has left me very disillusioned and wondering if there is any real value to what is essentially a very good idea and nothing more!!
2nd October 2012 at 4:21 pm #37033
catherine, i enjoyed reading your reply and i hope the right people get to read it.
my interest in Skills development started when i attended a Pastel Payroll course and we were introduced to The act but i also realized that there is unlimited potential to up skill and empower staff but most companies must be lost in the implimentation of the act. Now i read everything i can find about the implementation of the act. i have completed a Pastel payroll course and am currently busy with VIP training, it has cost me over R12000 for both courses and i am required to write have a 75% pass rate on exams. As an unemployed person ( on the other side of 40) i still wont be considered for a job because i have no relevant working experience in the payroll environment. Maybe companies should be encouraged to provide learner ship opportunities not just for people with degrees and diplomas but also for people who have tried to upgrade their skills and give us the opportunity to make a valuable contribution.
2nd October 2012 at 6:19 pm #37032
Here we sit reading about incompetencies, and we know where most of the gaps are. Is this fixable? yes it is, unfortunately the individuals that do care – do not have the power to actually do anything, not to mention have a say and be heard.
Getting the WSP generic across all industries would be favourable (well at least make the templates generic), so that every person working with this, will have the same problems, concerns or difficulties as other. Are SDFs competent to do their job? let’s be honest, there are individuals that need to be thanked for their hard work, on the other hand, there are individuals sitting in positions, that is clearly out of their scope of understanding not to mention completing a document accurately.
Monitoring and Evaluating should be continous process, which should be there for all Training Providers, as well as Industry (any) and the Setas. The above happens when people do not take their jobs seriously, not to mention, ignorance in staying current on what is happening around them all the time, lack of interest in their working environment and most importantly (for me that is) the lack of interest in adhering to all the SAQA requirements.
When in doubt, ask ……………………… I guess this is what happens when the passion for what you do has changed to “I get paid”, I have a title, if something is incorrect, someone else will fix it for me .
On that note, I hope my passion for what I believe in will never get to that stage ever. Good Luck MICT SETA
3rd October 2012 at 11:16 pm #37031
Hi Lynel and other forum members.
You said , when in doubt, ….ask. Im asking if you or anyone can advise me how to get practical experience in the completion of the WSP and ATR. I have completed a 1 year programme in Skills Development through UNISA. I am currently not in the field of skills development and is therefore not exposed to the real world of Skills development in the work place and the day to day issues that SDF’s face. I am in the teaching profession and had been for a number of years. I am willing to sacrifice my school holidays to help out free of charge helping with any aspect Skills Development Facilitation.
I intend making the switch to become a full time SDF , but would love to gain the necessary experience to enter the field.
If there is any organisation out there that could do with an extra pair of hands , i would highly value it if you could email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please let me know
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