23rd August 2018 at 11:03 am #67576
23rd August 2018 at 4:53 pm #67597
Hi Sylvia, thank you for post this very informative document. It’s interesting to see which SETAS may be merged and which will undergo no changes. There is plenty of room for comment here particularly in relation to Services SETA, ETDP SETA, Construction SETA and Chemical SETA to mention just a few. I hope all providers on this platform will take the time to respond and make recommendations to the minister. What a ray of sunshine this lady (Minister Pandor) is.
23rd August 2018 at 8:11 pm #67603
Des thank you & I do agree I hope we can keep Minister Pandor for a while.
On the SETAs I can see co-ordination with strategy e.g. Foodbev & Agriseta = Agroprocessing
But overall performance remains an issue.
I am also concerned about the next WSP season – with all the sites going down this year & unavailability of Seta staff – I would like to see the integration project plan.
3rd September 2018 at 9:03 pm #67706
I believe that implementing any of the proposals in the Gazette on changes to the SETA landscape will be counter-productive at this stage. It will delay the fundamental rethink of the SETA-QCTO-OFO system that is urgently needed because the system is not fit-for-purpose to prepare the workforce for the future World of Work. The proposals are essentially rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic while we need a complete redesign of the ship.
Comments I ‘borrowed’ from other concerned experts: “The proposed changes will disrupt the current structure where it is functioning well, without making positive changes where the system isn’t functioning. Structure follows strategy, so we need to start with a well-thought through strategy to meet the needs of the 4th IR, as the current system is a construct of the 2nd/3rd Industrial Revolutions.”
Therefore, I believe that the skills development community should urge DHET to embark on a thorough analysis of the appropriateness of the current system – rather than making fragmented changes to parts of the system, which are unlikely to result in the desired improvement anyway.
4th September 2018 at 10:38 am #67712
4th September 2018 at 1:10 pm #67720
Thank you Onkemetse, I agree with you – we don’t really know what influenced DHET to make this proposal.
On strategy, I can only comment on the Foodbev Agriseta merger. I can clearly understand that in terms of our agro-processing strategy those two may go together. Certainly in terms of B-BBEE there is an issue.
However, after the chaos of online systems going down and the unavailability of Seta staff that we experienced this year – I cannot even imagine the chaoes that will ensue.
I agree with you – I would want to see an analysis of why some Setas are so poor before deciding to keep or merge. If it’s the statistics, then I doubt they are accurate because just one example – if completed programmes depend upon submission of certificates – and we can’t submit them because we all know the delays in receiving certificates, then we can’t rely on those stats.
Recently I had the experience of trying to get hold of a Seta, so I went to the website and started phoning the various national numbers, Gauteng, KZN and WC – one rang until it went off, one just rang, and the other no longer existed. I never got hold of the Seta – and never got the information I needed.
So as Suzanne is suggesting – let’s start from what we want to do – and need to do – before moving any of the deckchairs.
- This reply was modified 3 weeks, 1 day ago by sylvia hammond.
5th September 2018 at 10:00 am #67735
I agree with the suggested merges, but would suggest that ALL SETA’s clean up the inhouse issues they have, get more employees, actually answer telephones and engage more with US the SDP’s. It does not only affect the SDP’s but the learners as well. Then we add to this all the issues with DHET and QCTO requirements. Neither parties are engaging on what is best for the learner/student.
- This reply was modified 3 weeks ago by Samantha Schwenk.
5th September 2018 at 4:54 pm #67744
I think DHET should commission some research on Admin Managers – that appears to be a scarce skill.
To run a department where the staff:
answer the phone, respond to messages, acknowledge submission of documents, answer emails, file documents, enter documents into the system, communicate with customers/stakeholders.
5th September 2018 at 5:27 pm #67746
5th September 2018 at 7:31 pm #67750
6th September 2018 at 9:45 am #67752
The re-arranging of the SETA landscape is a pointless exercise. The core complaints regarding SETA’s goes about service delivery (or lack thereof) and inconsistency. One of the purposes of QCTO was to supply a “one stop shop”, where accreditation requirements remain consistent, and not as is currently the case, where each SETA has independent requirements that are not consistent. For providers who are accredited across a range of SETA’s, their focus on training is seriously impaired by the need to comply with varying SETA requirements, some of which are questionable and appear designed to protect the tranquility of SETA operations.
Changes need to focus on supporting training providers, which, as Samantha has pointed out, ultimately affects the Learners. To make appropriate changes requires the input of those closest to the Learners and not desktop exercises or academic theories somewhat distant from the realities to which training providers are subject. The DHET Registration exercise has clearly shown that their processes were based on flawed and inaccurate information. One has to wonder whether this flogging of a dead horse is subject to equally flawed information?
6th September 2018 at 9:01 pm #67754
I have long thought that the problem is we have one size fits all systems, for reality that is diverse and complex.
I tend to focus on the reality of the workplace and the learners.
You remind me of the reality of the training providers.
I was thinking today of the reality of all the good people in the Setas trying to work in a dysfunctional environment – and the good Setas – how to identify what and who is working.
7th September 2018 at 10:02 am #67755
I agree that “best practice” would be an idea to improve SETA’s in general. But it is equally important that the right type of people carry out these practices. Interestingly, there is a situation at the SETA with which I normally work, where the ETQA Manager left a short while ago and there is now an Acting ETQA Manager taking responsibility for these duties.
The previous 3 ETQA Managers proved to be dictatorial with limited communication skills. Their approach was that as ETQA Managers, they were in a position to literally dictate to training providers without any recognition of input from providers. Their processes were clearly meant for their convenience at the expense of training providers. These 3 terms of management stretch over more than 10 years which unfortunately means that many of the processes have become instilled in the ETQA functions. Their favourite hiding place was always behind their “cast in stone” policies.
Enter now an Acting ETQA Manager, a lady with whom I have worked for many years, and who, in my opinion would have been an appropriate ETQA Manager some time ago, but clearly she does not have any links to SETA management as the other ETQA Managers appear to have had. In two recent situations, she has proven capable of listening and reacting in a supportive, understanding and friendly manner to resolve issues with some alacrity. This is most certainly the picture which I envisaged when absorbing the SAQA Guidelines and Criteria documents relating to ETQA’s in the early 2000’s.
In essence then, if ETQA’s were populated by persons who have the ability to contextualise individual provider issues within the environment in which they operate, and act accordingly, then there would be far less problems. The bureaucratic hiding behind policies that do not recognise the environment of stakeholders such as training providers has become far too common. This is unfortunately a defence mechanism for people who cannot cope with the requirements of their expected function and is probably the most important factor in eliminating inefficiencies.
8th September 2018 at 1:20 pm #67766
Thank you Nigel – I am not at all involved with ETQA accreditation issues.
So your comments raise a question:
Surely it should be that the QCTO issues all policies to be followed by the delegated ETQAs? Then if there is something specific to the sector that requires a change, then that ETQA should apply to the QCTO for approval.
Surely only the QCTO as the ultimate responsible authority should have the authority to issue policy documents?
10th September 2018 at 4:02 pm #67785
There is some input from QCTO, but all these policies originate from times prior to QCTO. When SAQA accredited SETA ETQA’s originally, despite the SAQA Guidelines provided, they all interpreted or focused on certain aspects of these guidelines. The result was that they all emanated from a central point and headed off to different points of the compass. There was never any unity of function that ensured a consistency of operation between all the SETA ETQA’s.
From our little exercise with QCTO concerning complaints about various SETA’s late 2016, it is apparent that a number of them are reluctant to accept that they are answerable to QCTO, to the extent that they will bend the truth. At that time QCTO made it clear that policies or policy changes should be checked with QCTO, but I do not know how much further that got.
The staffing of ETQA personnel in general lacked any form of reasonable criteria from the beginning, and even now there are serious concerns regarding various practitioners “qualification” to service the functions they are supposed to carry out. At this stage, unfortunately, policies have wandered in some cases far from the SAQA anticipated path, and when one treats a policy as “cast in stone” then there is no hope.
10th September 2018 at 7:39 pm #67786
14th September 2018 at 9:32 pm #67838
Hi Nigel, your comment that some SETAs are reluctant to accept they are answerable to the QCTO certainly resonates. However, there have been times when concerns were raised with the QCTO about the under-capacity of SETAs and the detrimental effect this has on learners, but the QCTO refused to engage, and was very dismissive. So despite the various QCTO Circulars and delegations to SETAs, the relationship between the QCTO and SETAs is very muddy. There is a general sense that the QCTO ‘tolerates’ SETAs as they (QCTO) needs them to continue certain functions until such a time as they have a budget to perform these functions themselves. It is rather sad as I know of many very experienced, competent and skilled individuals in SETAs, which have hung in despite feeling demoralised. Essentially an improvement in SETAs will occur only when the levy-payers engage and make an intervention, but they seem reluctant to do so.
17th September 2018 at 8:58 am #67843
Hi Kate, your final comment related to the failure of the levy payers to make interventions is so true. May of the problems we encounter with the SETAs and QCTO for that matter are because we accept what is going on. It is time we started fighting for what is rightfully ours. We pay the levies and we are entitled to some answers when our money is being misused and squandered. why are we being so complacent?
17th September 2018 at 2:36 pm #67853
Thanks Des, I was also thinking about Kate’s comment.
There is no standard procedure to consult with stakeholders. The roadshows are few and far between and often in incovenient venues. If we cannot attend because of distance, or clashing diary commitments, there is no comprehensive report on the roadshow, no forwarding of presentations, reports, decisions, etc.
Once again, these are management issues – not a criticism of staff members trying to make a difference. So many of the criticisms arise from lack of management skills.
Maybe it would be an idea for the business schools – Wits, UCT, Stellenbosch, etc. to provide a SETA management programme, which is obligatory, and aimed at standardising the quality of SETA management performance.
They could also develop a standard Board training programme, that all Board members are obliged to attend.
17th September 2018 at 9:08 pm #67854
Members may be interested in the minutes of the Parliamentary Monitoring Group: SETA New Landscape (22 Aug 2018). The Minister does not seem that convinced about merging SETAs. I quote:
“On the SETA landscape, the Minister had said to the Department that they needed to think more carefully as mergers were not the solution to the challenges confronted in the SETA sector. There were serious issues of governance, with poor regulation, too much independence in determining the use of funding, a need for clearer rules, and the processes of appointment needed addressing.”
18th September 2018 at 7:49 am #67855
Hi Sylvia and others, I had a letter from the Minister yesterday in response to some issues I pointed out related to poor service. Unfortunately some of our departmental leaders took my comments as being my personal issues with them and of course denied that any problems with me existed. They continually fail to see the big picture. I have been asked if there are still problems that need to be addressed which of course I would like to respond to. So lets have some examples that I can use please. let’s use this opportunity to bring our problems into the open.
18th September 2018 at 11:45 am #67858
Hi Des and Kate,
Yes, it is a pity if problems are taken personally, when one tries to point out problems and issues to be addressed.
We are all trying to work towards successful implementation of skills development.
On outstanding issues, nobody ever came back to me on my letter to the Minister (it was acknowledged and I was advised someone would contact me) – so my letter still stands. Those are issues from a number of people who contributed to the letter.
Yes, Kate I do hope that the Minister decides to keep structures in place and rather concentrates on trying to improve the quality of what is being done.
19th September 2018 at 9:52 am #67877
19th September 2018 at 11:26 am #67879
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