Choose Vocational Education and Training (VET) and close the skills gap

By bronwynnewman, 15 January, 2013


The Services Sector Education and Training Authority (SSETA) congratulates all the Matriculants who have passed their examinations, and continues to encourage those learners who did not succeed to take up the many other opportunities within the post-school Education and Training environment.

The Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga stated that “while a notable improvement in the pass rate has been achieved, the announcement of the 2012 matric results has once again exposed South Africa to the realities facing a small post-schooling sector in South Africa; exposing huge incapacities in accommodating the over 120 000 students that qualify for university entry. This presents a huge challenge for the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) in that it needs to ensure that there is no overcrowding at these universities; and no tragic stampedes as witnessed in January 2012.

“South Africa has 50 Public Further Education and Training (FET) Colleges nationally, comprising of over 264 campuses or teaching sites. Public FET Colleges offer Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses and qualifications at various levels of study for learners who have a Grade 9 pass/certificate, an NQF level 1 qualification or a Grade 12 certificate.” At a press briefing in Pietermaritzburg on the 3rd of January 2013, Minister Blade Nzimande said,”Some of those who have come out of the schooling system may choose to find work. Those who wish to enter the world of work or need to increase their skills capabilities should consider the options of Learnerships, Apprenticeships and skills programmes through any of the 21 Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) which cover each economic sector in the country”.

According to the SSETA ‘s Administrator, Dr. Sihle Moon,”the SSETA is cognisant of its role as defined in the National Skills Development Strategy III, and with other SETA’s is challenged to improve skills in all industries and target 1, 2 million workers for certified on-the-job skills improvement programmes annually from 2013; we are also expected to facilitate and co-finance training for 10% of the workforce annually. Crucially, we are aware that these figures must be skewed towards the rural, poor and often marginalized of our country, women and the disabled. And so, as the SSETA, we have designed several projects that very deliberately seek to empower these groupings so that they too, become part of the skills revolution in our country and thus move into the mainstream of meaningful economic activity”.

The discourse about post-schooling should acknowledge the presence of SETA’s in post schooling solutions, and the roles of SETA’s in the skills development arena should be acknowledged as another repository for learners who decide to go directly to the world of work. This should present an opportunity for many learners sitting in the peripheries of economic activity, in rural South   Africa and in some peri-urban locations, and even more importantly, it is a window of opportunity for many young woman and disabled youth.

The DHET has not only worked tirelessly at changing  perceptions about SETAs but has also invested hundreds of millions of rands in SETAs; trusting that they in turn will stimulate economies for economic growth and development. The Services SETA therefore encourages students and other South African citizens who want to develop their skills to make Vocational Education and Training learning their primary choice.

The principal goal of the SSETA is to ensure that the new entrants to the labour market are adequately skilled by providing them with subsidised apprenticeships, learnerships, internships or traineeship initiatives for businesses. In an effort to achieve this goal the SSETA has launched several projects in different provinces with the view to get more young people involved in learnerships, apprenticeships, internships and traineeships



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