The Learnership Group

Learnership replacement

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    Stephen hope


    The company want to register individuals on a learnership in January 2015 and we have come across the following stumbling blocks:

     The National Certificate: Mechanical Engineering 59689 level 2 , has been replaced with Occupational Certificate : Toolmaker 91796.


    The Occupational Certificate Toolmaker 91796 has also replaced 63649 level 3 as well as 63629 level 4.

     The Occupational certificate Toolmaker 91796 is at level 5 with credits of 432.

     Entry level for this certificate is as followers:

                                     NQF level 4 equivelant to N3 areas of Engineering Maths, Science and Engineering drawings. (NO one in the company is at level 4)

     No one in the Western Cape or the country is registered to undertake this program.

     Although there are rules governing the credits as to the specific levels, the qualification is not unit standard based.

    This occupational certificate is directed at tool makers.The National Certificate: Mechanical Engineering 59689 level 2 was a platform for anyone entering the trade to gain a solid foundation before choosing a direction such as fitting,  or fitting and  machining or machining at level 3 continuing to level 4. are there any registered learnership routes for the fitter?

     AS one can see there is a few challenges ahead and direction is required. As the MERSETA we look to your for guidance in this matter.

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    Suzanne Hattingh

    Hi Stephen, Unfortunately, this problem was foreseen with Occupational Qualifications being so narrowly designed for very specific occupations, without recognition of workplace realities. In the workplace specialisation generally happens later in the learning pathway, with many staff requiring a common grounding, as in your examples. Or people are required to perform a range of functions that cut across occupations on the OFO. A simple example is that someone employed as a marketing coordinator in a small/medium sized company often performs functions that technically fall under other occupations, e.g. editing, copywriting, publishing, even running in-company workshops on business writing. We will continue to experience these, and other problems, with the Occupational Qualifications model. I have spent a lot of energy pointing out this and other fundamental fault lines in the model – with little success with the designers of this model and at other forums. I do predict that there will be a major overhaul of this model in a few years’ time – but only after much frustration and damage to our efforts to build the skills we so urgently need to improve workplace productivity and create job opportunities. Maybe the model can work in large companies with established T&D Units, but the model is simply not workable across all industries and all types of businesses. And, we cannot as a country afford the cost of implementing the model – as you indicated, there are no training providers ready to implement the Occupational Certificate. I suggest that the SETAs seriously consider the pitfalls before insisting that employers and providers align all they have done to the new occupational qualifications.

    Stephen hope

    Hi Suzanne, As someone who has done learnerships for a number of years we have been tolled that the learnership and the apprenticeship route will be changing but to change it so drastically without considering other artisan routes because there are other trade test besides toolmaking. I have also notices that FET do the NCV till level 4 and place the individuals into an apprenticeship to gain the experience. But companies do not want NCV students. The NCV might look good on paper but it is not implemented correctly. WE want to train individuals within the company who show potential within an specific trade and who has been exposed to the field of work. Why should we take from a pool of FET student that are not exposed to the field of work when we have them inhouse. We want to uplift individuals within the company. the learnership route according to me is the best route as it is well structured and monitor within and externally by the SETA. What do we do in the interim to train artisans within the company. Even if we registered as a private training provider  (which I am in the process of doing ) It will not help us any more because in the past one could apply for level 2 now it is level 5.

     Sorry , what does one do in the interim?


    Thanks Stephen and Suzanne, for highlighting issues that I also identified many months ago. We tend to continually paint ourselves into a corner and when we eventually change policy, we are back in another corner. Occupational training will be difficult to match up to our exising unit standard based qualifications. We will end up re-inventing the wheel again.

    Stephen, does the City & Guilds courses not have something that would be more appropriate?

    Stephen hope

    It would be an option if the SETA does not give any guidance but we would like to stay within the boundaries of the SETA as I do not know if they would align themselves to the City & and Guilds courses. You know we do not train many individuals but we want to train so that the company can stay afloat when it comes to qualified artisan. If they have changes the Fitting Landscape when are they going to change the welding Boilermakers as I know of another company that would like to train in that field. The West Coast FET college is only registered for level 2 welding. Not to get of the topic but nearly every provider that come to the West Coast only want to train welding. The youngsters that walk around looking for welding work is incredible. But they will not train fitters as they do not see a demand for fitters in the industry. But Industry want fitters and turners and fitters. Why does the FET decide what to train without input from Industry?. 

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