Posted on: January 29, 2011 Posted by: Diane Swarts Comments: 0

A National Skills Development Strategy update (NSDS 3) in January 2011 sets new goals to align state agencies’ projects, to economic needs and private training initiatives.

Sectoral Education and Training Authorities (Setas) will be subject to oversight by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) in a new data and policy mechanism.

NSDS 3 also aims to improve occupational training access to artisans, technicians and professionals. Schools, private trainers and FET colleges must prepare learners for tertiary study, and Setas would initiate bridging courses.

Employers would be subsidized to hire newly qualified people, with 10% of a mandatory set aside for workplace training.

Research and technology capacity and projects would increase. A specific research project would probe colleges and the skills training system itself.

On the job training should become more continuous in critical and scarce skills. Setas would support successful NGO training projects, instead of initiating civil society projects.
Stage and semi state agencies and enterprises would increase artisan training.

In support of state skills and economic strategies, the Chamber of Mines (COM) is training 40 000 health and safety reps in 2011, 2012, and 2013, using a Learning Hub set up in 2009, and computer aided 3D simulation.

Skills Fund goes rural

The National Skills Fund (NSF) will now determine and fund skills priorities, sympathetic to approach from community initiated training, rural areas, and reduced environmental impacts, comments training consultant Fiona Cameron-Brown in a January 2011 newsletter.

The NSDS 3 also supports the new Economic Growth Path (IPAP 2) and Human Resource Strategy for South Africa (HRDSA).

Some training quality assurance functions will migrate to the QCTO, via forthcoming regulations under authority of the Skills Development Amendment Act
Private and semi-state training service providers would find more state support for offering on the job training, writes Cameron-Brown.

Career path development via intermediate skills, would still be incentivised by PIVOTAL grants. Placement is no longer rewarded, to avoid duplication of grant funding.
NSDS 3 goals

The Department of Higher Education and Training’s NSDS 3 sets eight skills goals for South Africa, reports SHEQafrica.com;
* Skills planning to be formalised in a new data and policy mechanism, serving Setas and DHET.

* Occupational training programmes access to improve. Setas would have to assist programmes for training artisans (10 000 per year) and technicians, as well as professionals. Seta grants must respond to business skills needs.

Schools and private trainers must increase university eligible learners and Level 4 NCV graduates. Setas would focus on bridging programmes to raise priority occupational skills levels.

Employers could hire newly qualified people on a partial grant from the relevant Seta, from 10% of a mandatory grant earmarked for workplace training.

Research and technology capacity and projects would be increased by support from DHET, universities, universities of technology, technology agencies, and Setas.

* Public FET colleges to serve sectoral skills needs. FET qualifications will align with market needs, and offer access to university programmes.

College lecturers would have to improve their subject knowledge, educational skills, workplace knowledge and experience. A specific research project would probe colleges and the skills training system itself.

* Language and numeracy skills to improve.

* On the job training to become more continuous in critical and scarce skills. Duplication of training programmes and qualifications among different sectors, and inter-Seta competition, should be eliminated.

* Cooperative, small enterprise, worker initiated, NGO and community training to find support from DTI and DHET, working in collaboration.

NGOs would still get social development funding. Setas would have to support existing quality NGO pilot projects, instead of initiating projects.
* Public sector service capacity and training growth. Stage and semi state agencies and enterprises, like Sasol, Transnet, Eskom, Telkom, SABC, metros, provinces, inspectorates, police, and hospitals, most of whom rely on employees trained in the private sector, should resume or increase artisan training.
* Vocation and career guidance on job opportunities and qualifications, to learners and job seekers. A controversial plan to set up a state employment or placement agency may be linked to this skills goal.

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