For skills-universe members, who are private Skills Development Providers (SDP)s, or private providers of Education & Training.
QCTO taking steps towards Criteria & Guidelines for Skills Development Providers
10th Jun 2020 at 8:46 am #75164Nigel ShipstonParticipant
Hi Sylvia, was that a rhetorical question? From my SETA, the only circulated Memo was the one regarding extension of scope, but it appears that without having been enlightened by QCTO regarding this topic, there was big debate about different interpretations regarding to which providers this was applicable.
Comes back to my previous comments regarding participation and people “speaking” on behalf of these providers. The current communication process contains too many assumptions that effectively nullify intent.10th Jun 2020 at 9:02 am #75165sylvia hammondKeymaster
Good morning Nigel,
Yes you highlight a good point – who speaks for and represents the private providers?
A discussion I had recently with Cynthia Reynders who is the CEO of APPETD.
My point – the National Skills Authority (NSA) advises the Minister. But how do the NSA know what the private providers need? APPETD represents their members.10th Jun 2020 at 10:56 am #75166Lynel FarrellKeymaster
This is a very difficult time, not just for Employers, Providers and learners. This pandemic have hit everyone, including the government, the Councils and the Sector Authorities. I have been following government departments for weeks/months, trying to find answers (we all want quick solutions and answers). Going back, there have been surveys conducted, various engagements with providers from different sectors. The consultation part – have been continuous between the DHET, DoH, Higher Health, QCTO and the SETAs (to mention a but a few). We know that the first priority was to get the Health Workers whom was finalising their studies, to finish. Why? Because they will be used to help with this pandemic – we need all the health workers across the country.
Then, the next priority was the Universities and the TVET Colleges/Private Colleges. Here, there are large buildings, whereby thousands of learners need to complete their studies (this includes their accommodation) – measures needed to be put in place, in how this will be controlled, saving the academic year – but also ensure that the spread of the virus is minimized. These institutions had to first conduct deep-cleaning, put measures in place, ensure they have sick-bays, protocols to use from entrance to exit daily, or staying on campus, or going out to private accommodation returning daily. If my understanding is correct, classes at 33% will commence next week. Which is phase 1, the next phase will be at 66% and then phase 3 would be at 100%.
Now, that those institutions are dealt with (I think overall it could be less than 500 combined institutions if one takes the Private Colleges, TVET Colleges and Universities (private and public). Now it is the private sector’s turn.
These consultations and engagements have not only started now, but it has been ongoing for some time. According to the last stats done on the number of providers in 2014, the total number of accredited providers were 12860. Ok, majority of providers are SMEs and they might have their own small training rooms/premises, and they work off-site (whether it is at an Employer, conference centre, municipal premises, churches, schools etc). In lockdown level 3, hotels and conference centres are closed – some Employers are still not operating (this depends on the industry). Seeing that our industry is so wide, it must be a daunting task to approve a set Criteria and Guideline to suite all SDPs. Some industries are busy with legal action – for instance: Hairdressers. Now, we cannot obtain a generic criteria and guidelines, if they are not included.
So, will each Sector have a different Criteria and Guideline to suite each industry specifically? Is the provider protected should a learner be infected by this virus, but not showing any symptoms? If the provider conducts training at the Employer’s premises – are the Employer accountable for the administration, and what is the Provider’s protocol and administrative instruction when training off-site?
So many questions coming through. It cannot be easy. We await the finalisation of the Criteria and Guidelines, whereby experts were involved – and we trust that these documents will ensure that providers will be able to operate in a safe manner.10th Jun 2020 at 11:17 am #75167Nigel ShipstonParticipant
Hi Sylvia, unfortunately these communication channels, however well intended, create the perception among SDP’s that their input is either not required or is of no concern. Well intended ideas for inclusion are often mistrusted by SDP’s as a result of these perceptions, not to mention that most are currently scrambling for business in order to stay alive.
The current survival anxiety among SDP’s is an almost tangible element and when survival is at stake, little else matters. More than ever, SDP’s need confirmation of their existence and importance in terms of their contribution to our country. Memo’s openly distributed do little to ease these anxieties, when these are still open to a range of interpretation by various authorities. When all the authorities agree on a consistent approach and speak with a common understanding of intentions, perhaps then we can move forward.
Having not been directly addressed in any of the regulatory guidelines, left out in the wilderness to forge their own path back (perambulating on the verges of “legal” requirements), the timing of participatory initiatives for SDP’s is not ideal. Of all the support available to other SMME businesses, SDP’s are overlooked despite their input value.
Irrespective of the legality or otherwise of DMA regulations, the damage has been done. Suggesting now that participation is convenient when SDP’s are in a mad scramble for survival is just further evidence of the lack of recognition to which this rather large Cinderella child has been subject.10th Jun 2020 at 12:33 pm #75168sylvia hammondKeymaster
Thank you Lynel for your excellent comprehensive response. See also my question below
Thank you Nigel – you make the point about financial survival.
Is it correct that providers wanting to apply for financial support have been told to wait until the DHET decides upon support for skills providers? One of the off-site comments I received. Are you aware of this?
Lynel – have you heard about this?
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