SETA landscape – proposed changes for comment


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This topic contains 23 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  sylvia hammond 1 week ago.

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  • #67576

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Proposed changes to the SETA landscape that will affect practitioners and employer stakeholders.
    Published for your comment.
    Please see attached.

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  • #67597

    Des Squire
    Participant

    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.

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  • #67603

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    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.

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  • #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.

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  • #67712

    ONKEMETSE DIKGOLE
    Participant

    That’s true Suzanne, I was also anticipating interrogating the current system and check what work what not and come up with the plan.

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    • #67720

      sylvia hammond
      Keymaster

      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.

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  • #67735

    Samantha Schwenk
    Participant

    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.

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  • #67744

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Hi Samantha,
    Agree –
    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.

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  • #67746

    Kate Sani
    Participant

    The National Skills Authority is inviting stakeholders to attend the National and Provincial hearings on the NSDS and proposed SETA Landscape. Attached are the 2 docs.

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  • #67750

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Thank your Kate – I have accepted an invitation to attend in Cape Town on the 28th September. I would be interested to hear about other skills-universe members who will be attending in Cape Town.

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  • #67752

    Nigel Shipston
    Participant

    Hi Sylvia,
    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?

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  • #67754

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Thanks Nigel
    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.

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  • #67755

    Nigel Shipston
    Participant

    Hi Sylvia,
    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.

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  • #67766

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    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?

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  • #67785

    Nigel Shipston
    Participant

    Hi Sylvia,
    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.

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  • #67786

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Thanks for that information Nigel – that is really something for QCTO – we need to have confirmation of where they are in taking over the ETQAs.

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  • #67838

    Kate Sani
    Participant

    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.

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  • #67843

    Des Squire
    Participant

    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?

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  • #67853

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    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.

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  • #67854

    Kate Sani
    Participant

    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.”

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  • #67855

    Des Squire
    Participant

    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.

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  • #67858

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    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.

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  • #67877

    Des Squire
    Participant

    I have today sent the link to this discussion to the Minister and asked her to have a look at the comments and concerns raised.

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  • #67879

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Thanks Des – that is an innovative approach. I have just read through the comments and the issues are quite clear.

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