7 years ago

South African Business 2016 edition

  • Text
  • Investment
  • Government
  • Business
  • Development
  • Network
  • Sectors
  • Investing
  • Business
  • Africa
  • African
  • Economic
  • Manufacturing
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  • Opportunities
  • Economy
  • Overview
South African Business is an annual guide to business and investment in South Africa. Published by Global Africa Network Media in Cape Town, the 2016 edition is in its fourth year of publication. The publication provides up-to-date information and analyses of the country's key economic sectors, as well as detailed economic overviews of each of the nine provinces in South Africa.


SPECIAL FEATURE The evolution of skills development The skills development landscape in South Africa is changing, but thankfully a powerful partnership is ensuring the economy is fed by a vital skills pipeline. Government, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), Sector Education and Training Authorities (Setas) and professional bodies are working in partnership to build a much-needed skills pipeline for the South African economy. Setas form an integral part of this partnership and they add much value to their stakeholders and to the South African economy as a whole. Setas operate in terms of the Skills Development Act (SDA Act 97 of 1998 as amended) and the Skills Development Act of 1999 (as amended). These pieces of legislation provide an institutional framework for Setas to develop and implement national, sectoral and workplace strategies to develop and improve the skills of the national workforce resulting in improvements in employability and productivity, while contributing to the country’s global competiveness. Deputy Minister of Education and Training, Mduduzi Manana, highlights the Teaching Development Grant (TDG) as an important initiative. “We have earmarked funds (comprising approximately R600 per annum) towards programmes that are designed to assist in decreasing drop-out rates in universities, including for first year students where students are most at risk of drop-out. These funds support a range of programmes that focus on supporting students at various levels of their studies (from undergraduate to postgraduate level),” says Manana, who as a youngster wanted to be a history teacher because he wanted to understand how the past shaped the present and to teach young people to do the same. “The introduction of the student attendance and punctuality policy has increased the attendance of students in colleges, thus leading to improved retention rates. The preliminary throughput studies for three-year qualifications (contact and distance combined) show that there has been an improvement in the throughput rate for minimum time to completion more than two years from 33% for the 2000 first time entering cohort to 38.5% for the 2007 first time entering cohort. “The DHET has also recently implemented the ‘Staffing South Africa’s Universities’ Framework. This innovative programme targets academics at all stages of the academic pipeline, and provides relevant teaching development opportunities at SOUTH AFRICAN BUSINESS 2016 34

SPECIAL FEATURE all stages. This year, 125 new academics are being appointed as part of the New Generation of Academics Programme (nGAP). A total of 80% of the appointees will be women and/or black academics. These academics will benefit from structured teaching development and research development opportunities,” said Manana. The role of Setas Setas are also required to deliver against the National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS) III, are expected to be aligned to and deliver against national policies and imperatives including the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF), the Human Resource Development Strategy for South Africa (HRDS-SA), Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP), the New Growth Path (NGP) and the White Paper for Post-school Education and Training. One example of this in action is Fasset (the Finance and Accounting Services) Seta, which is changing the skills development landscape in its sector by facilitating the delivery of sector-specific skills interventions, which are not only achieving the NSDS III goals and other national imperatives, but which are also addressing employer demand for skills within the sector in practical ways. Three skills upliftment initiatives are very important in this regard: Fasset’s lifelong learning interventions, the disbursement of PIVOTAL Grants (grants for Professional, Vocational, Technical and Academic Learning programmes) and the Seta’s TVET Workplace Experience Project. Given that Finance and Accounting Services is a professional sector, it is imperative that the skills of employees and employers within the sector remain current. The majority of Fasset’s members are SMME practitioners, where budgets for training are limited. Fasset is able to add considerable value to its SMME stakeholders through the Seta’s lifelong learning interventions. Over 116 046 delegates have attended these initiatives since inception. New Seta funding regulations released in December 2012 opened the way for more effective interventions via the PIVOTAL Programmes (Professional, Vocational, Technical and Academic Learning Programmes) that results in a qualification or part of a qualification on the National Qualifications Framework. Developing PIVOTAL skills gives employees portable quality-assured qualifications which are better aligned to specific occupations and to a specific career path. This is beneficial to both the individual and to the organisation, and is also proving to be more sustainable and value-adding than short courses. PIVOTAL Programmes are implemented by way of the PIVOTAL Grant. For example, Fasset’s PIVOTAL Grant addresses priority scarce and critical skills needs identified in Fasset’s Sector Skills Plan. The grant incentives employers to develop the skills that they have identified to be in short supply and, as such, are needed for the sound functioning of the sector. Fasset is also changing the skills development landscape for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College learners through Fasset’s TVET Workplace Experience Project. Participating Fasset employers are 35 SOUTH AFRICAN BUSINESS 2016

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