Linking the CET Colleges to skills development & AET

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    Daily it becomes clearer that skills development practitioners need to acquire additional law and taxation knowledge and skills.

    A recent welcome announcement for skills development providers (SDP)s has been the postponement of the absolute requirement to register with the Department of Higher Education & Training (DHET). That was required for SDPs providing training leading to qualifications or part-qualifications, registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). (That is in addition, and after, to becoming accredited with the Quality Council for Trades & Occupations (QCTO) or Sector Education & Training Authority.)

    See DHET Communique 1 of 2020 that reversed by DHET Communique 1 of 2016.

    Note: Do note confuse this with DHET SD Circular 1 of 2020, and DHET SD Circular 4, which rescinded Circular 1 – that is about the implications of the ongoing court cases about skills development levies (SDL).

    Communique 1 refers to the National Policy on Community Colleges, under the Continuing Education & Training Act of 2006 (CET Act).

    I have attached that act for further discussion. Please read the act & I suggest look for the links with skills development. The act intends to cover those not in employment, but there are linkages between the adult education covered, and what takes place in the workplace. Such as the ABET/AET and the GETC programmes, offered by training providers.

    Please see point 3.14 – I disagree with the words:
    “…lack of impact of the qualification with regard to its contribution to skills development…”.

    In my personal experience of a workplace that has offered AET, and GETC, in order to capacity the workers to be able to register on Learnerships.

    I suggest that there is also an opportunity for employers to be working with those community colleges to prepare workers for employment.

    Then another point, it would be interesting to work together I think – on 5.1 – just to produce an updated list of that legislation passed since this gazette was published.

    Apart from those comments I would suggest that before the DHET goes ahead and makes changes to the CET Act, that there is a clear understanding of the linkages between the external training under the new colleges, and the same education taking place within workplaces.

    Interested in your comments.

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    Lynel Farrell

      Hi Sylvia,
      I am working through all these Acts, and what makes me very worried, is the fact that Skills Development Providers were instructed to register with the DHET for a number of years. It is clear that the DHET wanted to register SDPs under the CET Act (last updated 2015). Unfortunately the CET Act did not make reference to a Skills Development Provider as a learning institution. So they are not recognised as a learning institution. However, now we move to the NQF Amendment Act, 2019 which is the most updated Act, whereby it clearly stipulates: “by the substitution for the definition of “Skills Development Provider” of the following definition: “Skills Development Provider” means a provider that is REGISTERED with the Department in terms of the Continuing Education Training Act, and is accredited by the QC for Trades and Occupations to offer occupational qualifications”

      So the NQF Act (Amendment) makes reference of SDPs that needs to register under the CET Act with the DHET – but the CET Act doesn’t recognise SDPs in it current form. The one Act goes against the other. I would love to hear more inputs on this case, with references to more Acts and factual information. I know that majority of SDPs are extremely upset, but we need to focus on how this affects SDPs and what is the next mountain SDPs will be facing.

      Lynel Farrell

        My understanding is that if a SDP wants to register as a Private College with the DHET, the requirement will be, to have accreditation with Umalusi. Now our problem in the private sector, is that we do not offer any learning programmes (qualifications) under Umalusi, but in fact under the Occupational Qualifications Sub-Framework (QCTO and SETAs). It looks like there are no registration process for any SDPs that fall under the OQSF – and if a SDP have obtained registration with the DHET, then their registration will only be valid until their expiry date, and thereafter they will not be able to continue with registration, unless they have Umalusi accreditation. So two out of the three Councils are recognised but not the QCTO. Imagine all providers having to go through the accreditation process with Umalusi – this will be a nightmare (oh and a very expensive one too)

        Richard Leeming

          For years DHET has been informing prospective students and the public in general not to register with Private Colleges who are not registered with DHET, now DHET is telling Private Colleges that we can no longer be registered with them if we only offer OQSF qualifications, even though we have been registered with DHET for years. What will the public think, and how can DHET expect the public to understand Communique 01 of 2020? This is wrong in so many ways.

          Lynel Farrell

            Richard, I hear you loud and clear. So, we have two options here:

            1. We keep quiet, and see what happens.
            2. We stand up as an industry and submit an appeal to the Minister.

            I am drafting a submission, but I am not sure if private colleges, skills development providers falling under the OQSF will support me in this. Yes, I agree it is not fair on any business.

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