2nd Jan 2016 at 8:44 am #28195
My post has reference to the following two recent articles appearing online from different media sources:
It becomes quite apparent that the role of independent private Seta-accredited training providers will diminish into insignificance should our esteemed Minister have his way.
It is also quite apparent that businesses and corporates who pay for training and want to access the SDF in terms of a return on their training investment, will need to jump through many more hoops and will be getting back considerably less than what they had laid out on training within their business environment.
This raises the inevitable question for such organisations: Where is my break-even point? Is the bureaucratic process and red-tape associated with getting a 20% refund from the SDF really worth it? Should my organisation not just pay our 1% SDL every year and write it off on our financial statements?
Should organisations decide to go this route, then it opens up yet another debate: Are businesses/companies/organisations/corporates using Seta-accredited training providers to fulfill their organisations’ training requirements on the basis that they will have access to a refund from the SDL, or because they have a genuine vested interest in the empowerment of their employees?
If the access to a 20% refund from the SDF becomes too onerous for organisations to sustain, then surely this opens up opportunities for non-accredited private training providers to successfully operate in these markets, keeping in mind that the cost of this training provision should be substantially lower than the equivalent training provided by a Seta-accredited training provider, because, let’s face it, Seta-accredited training providers have to spend a considerable amount of time (and therefore money) in order to acquire accreditation and comply with all the QA requirements associated with being an accredited training provider.
At the end of the day, it all comes back to ROI: Am I (as an organisation) going to use Seta-accredited training providers in order to get a return from the SDL, irrespective of whether the accredited training provider I might be using has a good reputation for producing good results or not, or would I be willing to use a non-accredited training provider who has an excellent reputation in the marketplace for producing the results my employees and my organisation are expecting?
2nd Jan 2016 at 11:41 am #28206
Perhaps employers will begin to sustain and develop their human capital without which their capital investment in equipment and stock has no value. The only competitive difference between one business and another comes not from patents and machines but from the commitment of owners, management and workers; especially workers. If employers realised the true value of workers and trained and developed them effectively, the whole panoply of SDF and NSF would not be necessary.
2nd Jan 2016 at 5:01 pm #28205
I wonder sometimes if the last 15 or so years has been worth it. A huge amount of money and effort has been put in by a lot of people and it seems the rug is being pulled out from under them again. All problems with the system aside, I know in some small way it has been worth it as amongst our learners over 14 years there has not been a single (that I know of) accident (fatality) after qualifying, whereas the national norm statistic was about 8 cases a year for unqualified people.
The SDL was never really an issue in my industry as the companies are in most cases too small to pay or claim back anyway, and those that did just wrote it off as you say, so the only benefit was via the very few cases of discretionary grants funding being available. Less than 100 cases I know of in 14 years. Cutting this to 20% will make access to discretionary funding a fait accompli impossibility.
In my own industries case,(Adventure Tour Guiding) offering formal qualifications training is a statute requirement unless the Dept of National Tourism changes the law at some stage, but at the same time it is becoming increasingly impossible to keep up with the changes financially. I fear at some stage the entire system will collapse, there will be unenforceable laws in place and everyone will just go back to doing their own thing making a mockery of the laws in place.
What saddens me more is that there were existing industry organisations offering internationally (but not SAQA) recognised qualifications for some specialities which the system steamrolled over and which no longer exist. Now if this system becomes redundant due to private providers being forced out the system, there will be nothing left. Last one out please turn off the lights. (I’ll resist an Eskom joke here…)
Responsible employers will still train their employees, which will have to be through unaccredited providers as there will be nothing else available.
I wonder what the legal position is where an accredited qualification is required by law, but there are no accredited providers anymore?
2nd Jan 2016 at 6:12 pm #28204
Dave I asked the following question in many post and mostly ignored: What do private providers offer that government FET college can’t?
Eventually the funding taps for private providers will be turned off. As well as the monies to be claimed back by levy payers as it is needed for #feesmustfall.
What will distinguish us and emphasize our knowledge base is to shy away for talk-and-chalk or explaining sessions talking learners to sleep.
Our competitive edge should be in both what we teach and how we teach. Then we stand a chance to survive because it will then be easier for HR departments to budget for training and get value for their money.
See my view on teaching practices to become word-class. http://www.learningdesigns.co.za/2015/11/10/i-think-we-should-start-exploring-constructivism/
2nd Jan 2016 at 6:32 pm #28203
My 2c worth, based on what we are doing right now:
- Specialised training for small industries that Colleges will not handle due to high cost/low numbers courses.
- 1:1 training courses customised to the Learners needs and venue
- Very specialised technical training that colleges do not have the experience or skills to offer.
- 100% practical courses – no falling asleep in a chair.
3rd Jan 2016 at 3:41 am #28202
3rd Jan 2016 at 8:09 am #28201
Thank you Dave, for your article.
Just a few points.
1) Why are we letting both the government and Blade Nzimande get away with this. It seems like a poorly orchestrated attack on the financial integrity of the Setas. We as a group, of companies, business, service providers and concerned citizens need to stand up to wrongful actions. Will we just sit by, and let them access all of the well-intended training money?
2) It is an assumption that accredited trainers are better than non-accredited trainers. And vise versa. Accredited trainers are however restricted to old Unit Standards, and private trainers can keep up with the times, and create new programmes and new methodologies.
3) It is also an assumption that they will be cheaper.
4) It is awesome to focus on doing the right thing for the development of your people, no matter what. And no matter whether you use accredited, or un-accredited training organisations – they should always be your focus.
But are we going to let a new Minister destroy all that has been created, with so much care, focus and for small training organisatios – so much hardship?
4th Jan 2016 at 6:05 am #28200
We already discussed this when asked to comment on the White Paper. Perhaps the industry should air their views. After all, it their skills levies that are wasted. The problem is not training methodology – it is politics. Most private providers offer better quality training than public institutions and government knows this. Ask the CEO of the CHE – she admitted this in one of he presentations last year.
4th Jan 2016 at 6:28 am #28199
I agree with Charles, what then happens with the new B-BBEE codes? Organisations are required to utilise the services of accredited training providers in order to earn points in the Skills Development element being one of the priority elements. The ministers decision will affect so much more should he decide to go that route and I wonder if he has taken this into consideration. Also, the additional 20% mandatory grant further assists organisations financially in meeting their skills development targets dictated by the codes in that they are required to spend 6% of their payroll on training (increased from 3% to 6% as per the amendments).
4th Jan 2016 at 12:47 pm #28198
Brian, to a large extent I agree with your points. Your point No. 1 – The reason why they can get away with it is because they are the majority party. Your point No. 2 – Agreed. There is no better measure for whether an accredited or non-accredited training provider is better than the other but through reputation and producing results i.e. return on investment for the company that is using them as a training provider. Your point No. 3 – Unfortunately do not agree. The admin, time, materials development, accreditation, assessments, moderation and QA compliance mechanisms (and other bureaucratic nonsense) forced on accredited training providers means that the expense must be recovered somehow. Your point No. 4 – Totally agree. At the end of the day, companies have a somewhat (positive) selfish agenda when laying out money for training. The purpose of training should not be to reach a certain score related to B-BBEE codes by utilising accredited training providers, or spending the training budget because it is close to the financial year-end and you might therefore lose it, but to add medium term and long term value to the company that employs them.
4th Jan 2016 at 12:56 pm #28197
Tarynn, I agree with you…..but the way that training providers are currently being intentionally marginalised (and all indications are that it will get worse), who is going to be left? Where will companies go for training with accredited training providers when there are non left? Talking from my own experience….in 2008 there were close to 1000 accredited training providers for the Assessor Unit Standard. Today there are less than 500. I am fairly sure that this sort of decline in the number of training providers is also apparent in other industries.
26th Feb 2016 at 7:32 am #28196
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