The NSDS iii is still very much of a working document and subject to public hearings and submissions that will be taking place later this month.
The submissions will be perused and considered by experts in the various sectors that are affected socially, economically, politically etc. and hopefully by civil society who will look into the proposals submitted, oral submissions, suggestions and advice and they will submit to the Minister for Higher Education & Training by early September 2010 a well balanced document ( NSDS iii) for operation as of 1 April 2011.
I am of the view that private providers are not necessarily excluded, however many “fly by night providers” have taken advantage of a system that had many “leaks” and a weak link. Coupled with this is a proposed NSDS iii framework that can have a better scribe to write and develop the final document presentation and to include clarity on the right of private training providers to have the same recognition to that of the Colleges, Universities etc. There is of course a question mark raised on the quality, infrastructure, capacity and accessibilty of FET Colleges to the learner constituence in the country. What I would suggest is that private providers make a special effort during the public hearings for it as a stakeholder to get similar privileged recognition in the NSDS iii document in order that the Minister (DHET) can feel at least a little confident on the credibility and status of private providers who are in a good position to compete equally to other entities that offer training, The results in producing competent learners/students coming from private providers can certainly stand the “test of times” and can rightfully be placed ahead of many public training institutions.
The enhanced and better structured and managed SETA landscape are in any event the custodians of the various occupational sectors and their stakeholders on their Boards include and make provision for their respective stakeholders to ensure compliance, strategy and implementation. What is certainly chaotic and scary is the research done on futuristic scarce skills and what eventually gets fed into the various Sector Skills Planning.
We all know that most corporate businesses put very little effort in skills development and regard it as a legislative imperative, rather as a necessary need for improving a sustainable growth & economic development for all. We all know that during weak economic times, the first retrenchment happen in HR and in the Human Capital Sector with very little regard to the most important investment, its people.