Waste Management Training Provider

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  • Johan van der Merwe

    Read this letter from Services Seta below. Unfortunately I must agree with him, the FET Colleges are and will not be able to train good artisans, they do not have the practical know how of how industry operates.

    If I were a Private Training Provider in South Africa……

    By Ivor Blumenthal, CEO : Services SETA

    As a SETA CEO, I am generally pleased as punch with the NSDS III, except with respect with what it has to say about both Public and Private Training Providers. When we were appointed in 2000 to establish SETA’s it was a very clear mandate to become agents of change and this is no better expressed than through what is envisaged in NSDS III. However where I believe the drafters have got it wrong is the role of Public Providers as this massively injusticed group of victims, and the Private Providers as totally inconsequential to the objectives of this blueprint.

    If I were a Private Training Provider in South Africa:

    1. I would be incensed and insulted by NSDS III in what it intends for me, as a Private Training Provider
    2. I would resent my tax funding being used to create unfair competition against me within a framework which artificially benefits Public Providers and forces me into a servile relationship with those Private Providers
    3. I would be angry at APPETD for acquiescing and the National Skills Authority for consenting to patronise me into a corner where I have no choice but to enter PPP’s with Public Providers if I wanted in any way to be a player in the skills agenda of this country
    4. I would ask where the ETDP SETA, my SETA has been in this argument for the new NSDS III given that I pay my levies to the ETDP SETA
    5. I would look to myself and ask: Have I done enough to lead my community of Training Providers into forums of engagement where we force respect from our so-called social partners – Organised Business, Labour and Government.

    NSDS III implies that because Private Providers are successful in their relationships with SETA’s and Public Providers are cast, as second-class citizens in their own relationships with SETA’s, there must be something nefarious that got Private Providers into this relationship. It ignores the reality that Private Providers have sweated blood for a decade in establishing their relationships with SETA’s in-spite of often insurmountable DOE and SAQA bureaucracy forcing SETA’s to apply outdated systems and standards against the Private Provision community. Bad IT systems implemented by SETA’s and under-trained and immature ETQA Departments taking years to process applications.

    NSDS III ignores the fact that Public Providers have derided and avoided doing business with SETA’s for 10 years. Often with National and Provincial directives “not to do business with SETA’s”. SETA’s have been treated by the DOE and Public Providers as second-class and inferior citizens, except where their funding is concerned. DOE representatives on the National Skills Authority have attended NSA meetings and played along with well-intentioned decisions towards integration and a seamless education framework, while going home to the DOE afterwards and strategically doing the very opposite. Preparing and implementing draconian regulations and legislation in a unilateral fashion with no social partner consultation. It is a joke in DOE that they have consistently managed to by-pass NEDLAC where legislation and regulations should be consulted in a tri-partite forum, and simply taken it from conception straight to Parliament.

    This draft document goes far enough to state that the best role for the Private Provider is in its pursuit of the objective of capacitating the Public Provider. Why should I as a Private Provider have to sacrifice my market position because the Public Provider has chosen to be arrogant rather than collaborative over the past decade?

    The real question in this scenario must be that if the only recognized Association representing my interests on the National Skills Authority, (the body which contracted for the writing of this NSDS III, which once received has now passed it on to the Minister for release) is APPETD, the Association for Private Provision, has been a member of the NSA since inception, where have they been in this discussion all along and more importantly why have they not taken a mandate from me their member or at least informed me that this regulation was imminent? Why have there not been workshops and proper organisation around creating a groundswell of interest in the implications of this blueprint?

    As importantly the question must be asked where the ETDP SETA has been all along. I am a member of that SETA as a Private Provider. I pay my Levies to and am supposed to be serviced by that SETA. The ETDP SETA is supposed to represent me at least equally in the way it takes care of the interests of the Public Training Provider on important issues. It is supposed to be charged with my best interests. Why has the ETDP SETA not been effectively used as a forum and partner for consultation, research and mandating in this regard? Is it that they have been co-opted into siding with the Public Provider entitlement as the opportunistic thing to do here?

    There is no doubt that in reading NSDS III, SETAS are given an absolute directive. If, for whatever reason, and no-matter how justified, in the last 10 years your benefits have favored the Private Training Providers – they are the ones in your ISOE. They are the ones who are listed in your 4-party agreements as the Providers. They are the ones who you have sought Constituent Assessors and Moderators from, you are now as a SETA instructed to change course. Actively court the Public Providers. Find them and bring them into a relationship with your stakeholders. Make them the Providers of choice. Fund their classrooms, their programmes; even pay their teacher’s wages. Actively reward them for success and force the Private Training Providers into a relationship of Public Participation with them whereby the Public Institution becomes an umbrella under which the Private Providers operate.

    The problem with this notion of course is that whereas there are hundreds of Public Institutions there are literally tens of thousands of Private Training Providers around and accredited. The capacity therefore for PPP’s as envisaged by these regulations is very limited unless a system of regional or provincial accreditation of Private Training Providers by Public Providers is envisaged, a form of Franchising, licensing to operate under a Public Providers brand. But nowhere is this expressed and it would certainly need to be debated.

    If I were a Private Provider perhaps the largest question I would look to answer introspectively is where I as a stakeholder in this debate have been all this time. I have been so intent in becoming accredited and making money to exploit the opportunities, that I have lost track of the national debate. I have savored the failure of the Public Provider and pounced on the opportunity to step in and form the relationship with the Private Sector, as is my right.
    I am not an idiot. I am a big boy and hence cannot have believed that this one-sided relationship, a reality for whatever reason, can have continued for much longer. Why have I of my own volition not spurred the debate and participated in creating a groundswell of engagement to correct this imbalance?

    Personally as a SETA CEO I would favor a system of privatisation of the obviously failed Public Provision network, certainly at FET level. At the HET band I would endorse a system of Private providers acting in the US-framed role as Associate Colleges – Community Colleges with the express purpose of offering Associate Degree’s capable of earning for the graduate not only access into latter years of Public Degree’s but also credit for what has been evident in Portfolios of Evidence.

    In this way we give expression to the articulation debate.

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