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LABOUR AND PUBLIC ENTERPRISES SELECT COMMITTEE
5 September 2006
7 SECTOR EDUCATION AND TRAINING AUTHORITIES’ BRIEFINGS: UPDATED PROGRAMMES
Chairperson: Ms M Themba (ANC)
Documents handed out:
Department of Labour: SETA Provincial Linkages Overview of 2005 – 2006 Status
Health and Welfare Sector Education and Training Authority presentation
Safety and Security Sector Education and Training Authority presentation
Safety and Security Sector Education and Training Authority Annual Report 2005/06
Local Government Sector Education Training Authority presentation
Construction Education and Training Authority presentation
Education, Training and Development Practices Sector Education Training Authority presentation
Energy Sector Education and Training Authority presentation
Information Systems, Electronics and Telecommunication Technologies Sector Education and Training Authority presentation
A briefing was received from the Department of Labour’s co ordinator of Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs). Thereafter the seven SETAs listed above presented their progress reports and updated programmes.
Questions were raised by Members on each presentation. Common concerns related to the publicising of the programmes to matriculants, the placements of graduates, and the steps that were being taken to address poverty through the programmes and placements. It was clear that often SETAs were hampered by lack of proper reporting and co operation from municipal and other officers. Employment equity, steps to redress gender imbalances, and specific programmes for youth and women were named as important areas. There was also a need for all SETAs to address scarce and critical skills.
The Chairperson advised that all SETAs should endeavor to use the premier’s office to assist with information dissemination. She also urged that SETAs should take a cue from the State of the Nation Address of the President while co-coordinating their projects. All SETAs should also be aware that one of their primary aims was to address poverty.
SETA Provincial Linkages Overview: Briefing by Department of Labour
Dr Florus Prinsloo (Acting Senior Executive Manger, SETA coordination, Department of Labour) introduced the model that was used to monitor Sector Education Training Authorities (SETAs) in the provinces. He explained at the outset that Provincial Skills Development Forums were referred to as PSDF and the second acronym PGDS meant Provincial Growth Development Strategy. SETAs had 71% coverage in the country. Some SETAs were not represented in some provinces because the training was not relevant; for instance the Mining SETA would be confined to mining areas.
Presentation by Health and Welfare SETA (HWSETA)
Mrs D (Thea).Cronje (Acting Chief Executive Officer, HWSETA) submitted a progress report on the training, giving statistics of training of Skills Development Facilitators, numbers of grants, workers assisted to enter programmes, skills development support, institutes recognized and number of unemployed people entering programmes. She reported that offices had been opened in Cape Town and KwaZulu Natal. Tables were presented of provincial workshops, learnerships per province, learnerships per equity and special projects per province. Future plans included inviting colleges to apply for recognition as Institutes of Sectoral or Occupational excellence, encouraging Further Education and Training Colleges (FETs) to offer SETA qualifications and to apply for accreditation. Workshops would be conducted in provinces that did not partake of learnerships. New qualifications were being researched. Consultations would take place with Directors General of Health to initiate project plans.
Ms Cronje stated that not all provinces participated actively in the learnership programmes. Mpumalanga had a participation of 3%, the Northern Cape 1.15% and Limpopo 2%.
Major challenges facing the SETA were under-funding, the demarcation of SETA, and the unrealistic expectations of stakeholders.
Of the total 3,930 learners registered, 94% were employment equity candidates. Of R14.7m that was received in levies, R11.35m was distributed in grants.
Ms N Ntwanambi (ANC, Western Cape) asked HWSETA of the link between staff skills and the hospitals in rural areas. She also enquired what was being done about matriculants, and if any communications were addressed to schools.
Mrs Cronje replied that HWSETA would participate in career fairs to reach matriculants.
Mr D Gamede (ANC, KwaZulu Natal) queried why the employment equity rate did not indicate people with disabilities.
Mrs Cronje said the disability figures were an omission
Mr Gamede expressed his disappointment that HWSETA could have made such omission..
Mr Gamede enquired how the lack of offices in provinces and the staging of workshops were being reconciled.
Ms Cronje clarified that the HWSETA was busy trying to establish if the current offices were doing the work that was supposed to be covered before more offices were set up.
Mr N Hendricks (ANC, Western Cape) asked if the learnership equity tabled was split between whites and blacks, or if the black ratio covered all non-whites.
She stated that the black figure in the equity data covered all non-whites.
Mr Hendricks also enquired what action was being taken on the shortage of nurses in the country.
Mrs Cronje stated that HWSETA was in the process of doing a full skills sector plan that would address the shortage of 20 000 nurses in the country. She said that there was a process of enrolling nurses and if a learner had been registered as an auxiliary nurse, through a bridging course, he or she could be enrolled.
Mrs Cronje added that HWSETA often found the lack of participation of some stakeholders to be challenging.
Mrs S Mabe (ANC, Free State) commented that if certain municipal officials did not respond to invitations, she would like a list specifying which officials and provinces were referred to so that appropriate action could be taken.
Presentation by Safety and Security SETA (SASSETA)
Ms Vuyelwa Penxa (Chief Executive Officer, SASSETA) stated that SASSETA was established through the amalgamation of two SETAS, and had only been in existence for nine months. She outlined the achievements and marketing that it had done in that time. The objectives were prioritizing and communicating critical skills for growth, development and equity, promotion and accelerating quality training in the workplace, promoting employability through skills development, and assisting designated groups to participate in accredited work. Schedules of targets and performance under each objective were tabled. A full progress report on training providers, and comparative graphs for each province, was tabled. More than 14 000 learners had been through the system since 2002 and over 6 000 learners were enrolled in 2005/6. No agreements currently existed with any of the FET Colleges, because its industries were service related. However, it was in the process of developing more technically oriented learnerships. The SASSETA was involved in community work, including an HIV/Aids research project, rural development, and training for people with disabilities.
A number of challenges were faced by SASSETA. Accurate reporting had been a problem. Although it had a well established and functioning database the system had not been used consistently in the past. All contracts with training providers were being revised to ensure that reporting obligations were clearly set out. The sector had limited data in terms of scarce skills. Funding remained a problem, especially where government departments were concerned.
SASSETA was predominantly dominated by males. Feasibility studies were being conducted so that SASSETA would be able to assess where its main areas of focus should be.
Ms S Mabe enquired how SASSETA was going to balance gender in its division.
The Chairperson enquired what mechanism was used to attract women into the sector, since it was male-dominated.
Ms Penxa stated that the list SASSETA received from government departments was already male dominated. She said, however, that SASSETA was using its small capacity to try to influence the change.
In answer to a general question raised earlier by Ms N Ntwanambi, Ms Penxa stated that after training, job placements were guaranteed.
Ms Penxa also replied to earlier questions raised by Members on critical and scarce skills. There was a problem in that their service providers did not supply enough information but plans were being made to change the providers.
She also responded to an earlier general enquiry on matriculants. She stated that each government department under SASSETA had a career management unit to market its programmes and the marketing would address matriculants.
Ms P Hollander (ANC, Northern Cape) was concerned with the low figures in the Northern Cape and wanted to know what criteria was being used to place officers in the Northern Cape.
Ms Pretty Shuping (Chairperson, SASSETA) stated that priority had always been focused on the Northern Cape.
The Chairperson wanted clarity on how SASSETA collaborated with the MEC. She also asked which specific areas SASSETA had meant when referring to rural areas.
Ms Shuping stated that the most feasible way of working with MECs was through the Imbizos. She also stated that the departments outsourced workshop organisation as they did not see this as their core function.
The chairperson commented that SASSETA should be doing work on violence against women, and commented that HIV/AIDS was being addressed.
The point was taken by SASETA
Presentation by Local Government SETA (LGSETA)
Mr Sidwell Mofokeng (Chief Executive Officer, LGSETA) tabled a progress report of the objectives, targets and achievements for the five years 2005-2010 and the current years 2005-6. Most of the targets were exceeded. He stated that only six offices represented the nine provinces but acknowledged that the capacity of these offices must be developed. Tables were presented showing the breakdown of learners by province. 80% of the learners trained by them were absorbed as public servants.
Future plans for the LGSETA were to give continuous support to FET Colleges through the establishment of a joint forum, to strengthen the PSD Forum, to increase the rollout of learnerships in the different areas for the unemployed and to embark on venture creation. It would work with the office of the Premier and give quarterly reports to the Portfolio Committee of Local Government and Traditional Affairs. Provincial workshops would be held. Employing more staff would enhance provincial office capacity and the roles between the national and provincial offices would be clarified.
Ms N Ntwanambi (ANC, Western Cape) directed a general question to all SETAs enquiring about the recruitment processes after all the learners had been trained.
Mr D Gamede enquired how SETA worked with municipal managers.
Mr Mofokeng replied that a pilot project for the training of municipal managers was to start in November.
The Chairperson enquired how the local governments planned on working with the premier of provinces.
Mr Mofokeng indicated that in areas where SETA has no authority, persuasive mechanisms were used. He stated that the reason why LGSETA wanted to communicate with the premiers was to eliminate duplication of projects.
Mr Gamede also requested clarity on critical and scarce skills.
Mr Mofokeng stated that a base line orientation was being used on critical and scarce skills.
Ms J Terblanche (DA, North West) asked how LGSETA could exceed their targets when there was an existing budget.
Mrs Janet Davies (Sector Skills Planning, LGSETA) stated that there was a misconception that municipalities were poor. She stated that there was a high participation rate in skills development and a lot of training funds were able to be circulated in the sector.
Mr D Mkono (ANC, Eastern Cape) commented that local governments to intensify their campaigns on skills development.
The Chairperson also advised that all SETAs should endeavor to use the premier’s office in information dissemination. She also urged that SETAs should take a cue from the State of the Nation Address of the President while co-coordinating their projects.
Presentation by Construction Education and Training Authority (CETA)
Mr Teboho Thejane (CEO, CETA) tabled a comparison of targets, and achievements for the 2005/6 year. He reported that 2600 learners had been supported in learnership agreements, and 2 200 in skills programmes. 1 134 had received bursaries. 1 391 had been registered on a basic literacy level. 991 learners were supported in the Expanded Public Works (EPWP) programme. 43 students had received bursaries in internship placements. He gave a breakdown on unemployed learners, and another on the number of FET Colleges accredited.
Future plans for the organisation included alignment of learnerships with the FET curriculum. Workplace experience placement was to be encouraged. Women and youth should be encouraged to become entrepreneurs. Provincial targets would be set on scarce and critical skills.
Challenges included the fact that rural provinces were dominated by low level courses and the reduced cash flow in the sector due to the reduced number of levy payers.
Hon Gamede wanted to know how the construction SETA was making its presence felt in rural provinces.
He also wanted to know what was being done on the construction of massive infrastructure in preparation for the world cup in 2010.
Mr Thejane answered that CETA was working on the massive infrastructure for 2010 but he had no clear cut response to the question.
Presentation by Education, Training and Development Practices Sector Education Training Authority (ETDP SETA)
Ms Nombulelo Nxesi (CEO, ETDP SETA) presented the progress report on the national targets, mentioning that there had been overachievement in most, but underachievement in two areas. This SETA had opened three provincial offices in KwaZulu Natal, Limpopo and Eastern Cape. 85 bursaries had been awarded during the official launches. There had been a provincial meeting in the Eastern Cape. National wide workshops involving 1 443 participants had been held. Six new qualifications were allocated to the SETA.
A table of skills programmes was presented, together with a progress report, by province, on the learnerships.
This SETA participated in the Provincial Forum. There were minimal linkages currently with the provincial skills development priorities. Unaccredited providers were ebing used for the delivery of learning programmes and there was a need to involved all parties in the planning stages.
Future plans would include a more participative planning process, and meetings with the premier’s office, all the SETAs and all provincial government department to align the provincial skills development strategy. In regard to FET Colleges, it was planned to disseminate all research results on the scarce and critical skills, to build capacity, to establish partnerships and to recruit learners to participate in Professional Graduate Certificate in Education learnerships
Ms N Ntwanambi queried the zero achievement in the Limpopo province with regard to the Education SETA. She also enquired why jobs in the education sector were only given to the employed, who took up night classes. She asked how ETDP SETA measured its success rate.
Mrs Nxesi stated that adult learners had been trained to take up jobs in the education sector but they were used on a part time basis, as employment was the responsibility of the Department of Education.
Presentation by Energy Sector Education and Training Authority (ESETA)
Mr Bafana Ngwenya (CEO, ESETA) presented the progress report and achievements for the year 2005/6. He listed the report by province and by learners. He tabled a provincial spread and equity profile, noting that 119 learners were in apprenticeships, 1 802 in learnerships, 326 were ABET learners, and 16 were in skills programmes. Six FET Colleges were accredited and other collaborations existed in Western Cape, Free State and KwaZulu Natal.
Future plans for the organization include active involvement in the Accelerated Shared Growth Initiative (ASGISA), by partnerships with various commercial organizations and programmes. Black Employment Equity programmes would be promoted. Partnerships would be set up with FET Colleges and higher education institutions. Whole qualifications would be registered at Masters level. Memorandums of Understanding would be signed with provincial departments of education. The learner grant levels would be determined.
Mr Hendricks warned all SETAs that they should be careful of short learnerships as they eventually had their negative effects.
Mr Ngwenya stated that the issue of apprenticeship was not popular in the energy sector. He commented in general that the Department of Minerals and Energy was a board member of SETA and all the Department’s activities involved SETA.
Presentation by Information Systems, Electronics, and Telecommunication Technologies Sector (ISETT)
Mr Oupa Mopaki (CEO, ISETT) submitted a progress report on targets and achievements for the 2005/6 year. He noted that 1 994 learners had entered learnership programmes, 103 were assisted through internships, 92 entered New Venture Creation programme and 4 institutions were accredited. The ISETT SETA was active in seven provinces and still awaited an invitation to participate in skills development forums in Limpopo and Northern Cape.
Equity and gender breakdowns were given, together with a list of the registered learnerships in different fields. Support to the FET Colleges was also analysed and explained.
Future plans for the ISETT SETA were to implement learnership and internship programmes in under-represented provinces, to up-skill and train unplaced learners, to secure training and placement opportunities for unemployed graduates, to train 3 000 graduates on intership programmes as part of the JIPSA (Joint Initiative For Priority Skills Acquisition) programme. An amount of R85 million would be required from the National Skills Foundation to achieve the set objectives.
Mr Mapaki stated that ISETT SETA as a whole received a total grant of R21billion while R13billion went back to levy paying companies. He stated that what they used to operate was the 20% discretionary grant they had.
The meeting was adjourned.
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