Skills Development Providers (SDPs) & Training Providers

Should occupational qualifications – skills development – move back to DEL

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    sylvia hammond

    When I am frustrated with things going badly – it remember the advice – that is when there is opportunity to make changes.

    The Department of Higher Education & Training (DHET) has failed to issue criteria & guidelines for skills development providers to re-open. All attention is focused upon universities & TVET colleges – educational institutions.

    Clearly the DHET does not understand the implications for all employers of labour – does not understand the workplace and workplace based training. It is entirely different to educational institutions.

    So – solution – move the all skills development responsibilities back to the Department of Employent & Labour.

    Remember skills started in the Labour Department under Minister Membathisi Mdladlana – “the skills revolution” he called it.

    Let’s move all OQSF – occupational qualifications sub-framework on the NQF – developed under the QCTO – Quality Council for Trades & Occupations – back to the Department of Employment and Labour.

    The title tells you why – they understand employment – they understand labour – they understand the workplace.

    Instead of being a Cinderella under the DHET we should move – lock, stock and barrel – to the DEL.

    What do you think?

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    Lynel Farrell

    HI Sylvia,

    We are frustrated for sure, and disappointed in the lack of action from the DHET. It is concerning.

    It would be awesome to be recognised, but during the past couple of years, it was clear that the one Act did include SDPs, where another Act did not recognise them at all. Now that the Acts are being amended, future wise (definitely not now) SDPs will be recognised. The National Skills Authority? They only look at TVET Colleges – I don’t see them doing anything for private SDPs. The DHET have clearly shown that they do not understand the private sector – why not speak to the SETAs (been here for two decades) and the QCTO (been here for a decade now)?

    Some of the largest companies in South Afica have training departments that are accredited by SETAs and QCTO. The DHET keeps hammering on workplace, but guess what? SDPs have more engagements with these large companies, to upskill and educate the skills that are required within the workplace.

    I have even sent a request to the Department of Labor – no comment, no response whatsoever – education does not fall under them, and that is why the First Aiders have been in battle with for the past 4 years now. DoEL might understand the workplace, but definitely not the knowledge and practical components together with quality assurance of NQF learning programmes.

    The DHET, QCTO and SETAs must all get together – sit around the same table and fix this once and for all.

    sylvia hammond

    Hi Lynel,
    Yes I hear you – but remember it is the DEL – then Labour that set up the SETAs – and the original concept of the Learnership – and understood the concept of Host employer.

    We certainly could have an argument about whether the SETAs have improved under the DHET.

    When the PSET White Paper was issued in 2014 I really thought we had something good going. But delivery for skills has been a disappointment.

    Attention has been focused on universities, TVETs & CET. That must certainly continue – that is the next generation.

    But skills is the current workforce – the people in employment & the 18(2) learners. That is our current economy – not something in 5/10 years time.

    Lynel Farrell

    Hi Sylvia,

    I cannot comment on whether the SETAs have improved under the DHET at all. In my personal opinion, I think the DHET have seriously let the industry down, and perhaps hoped that it will just disappear in a couple of years. The gap exist, and the providers are there to close it, with their expertise and quality of learning programmes, specifically addressed for workplace. The provider goes to the employer and/or the learner (we take the learning where learning is required) which have been powerful and unique. Don’t you dare tell a university or a tvet college to go out in the field – it doesn’t work like that (they will use providers in any way). Again, SDPs are willing to work with Universities and TVET Colleges – we go where we are needed to upskill and educate.

    The next issue for providers will come in once the NQF amendment act is approved/signed/promulgated by the President. Public comment ended on the 30th May, so who knows where they are in the process.

    You are 100% right, the DHET have only focussed on TVET, Universities and Higher Education Institutions. Although SDPs form part of PSET, they completely forgot about this industry. What is the reason?

    Nathaniel Tshuma

    This is my point exactly. The minister of Higher Education and Training just doesn’t understand the difference between Education and Training and Skills Development.

    The first thing he did when the Setas were moved from the DOL to DHET was for the minister to divert the NSF from its original mandate of developing skills to the establishment of public TVET Colleges. The funds to establish the TVET Colleges was taken from the NSF. The same funds were used through the Setas to Procure learning material from private providers and that material was given to the public TVET Colleges freely with accreditation while us private training providers were being still struggling to develop our own learning material. The second blow was our deregistration with Umalusi and the reaccreditation fees being exorbitantly increased that we can no longer afford them so that we are taken out of the training arena. We need a powerful lobby group that can fight this kind of approach by the Higher Education Approach.

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