The PSETA Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held on the 27th November 2014.
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Opening the public service as a training space for Work Integrated Learning (WIL) Learners
Section 8.4.3 of the White Paper for Post School Education and Training urges employers to make available opportunities for apprenticeships, learnership and internships (including student interns) in the public service at national, provincial and municipal level, in state agencies such as the defence force and the police, in public educational institutions and in state owned enterprises. It is essential that the public sector is opened up as a training space to the greatest extent possible not only to meet the very significant skills needs of government but also to ensure that government plays its role in addressing national skills shortages. PSETA is planning to engage stakeholders around this subject in a forum setting both at provincial level and for national departments. See the attached circular for more details.
The recently released results of the Census 2011 present a very interesting demographic distribution of South Africa’s population, that we are a youthful and vibrant country. This is what the NDP terms an arrival at a “sweet-spot” in our demographic transition. We have a proportionally high number of “working-age” population and low numbers of the young and old. Ideally, this should present a perfect window for the country’s economic growth.
On the contrary, this presents both an opportunity on the one hand and an enormous challenge on the other as the majority of these young South Africans are unemployed. This scenario is compounded by acute shortage of skills and is threatening economic growth and employment creation. The situation is reminiscent of a paradox: skills shortage amidst high levels of unemployment. The NDP, which makes some very important observations about the country’s 2030 path, also notes that South Africans between the ages 15 and 29 will make up more than a quarter of the population in 2020.
To mitigate these challenges, a business as unusual approach to Skills Development is required, some rigorous and concrete strategies needs to be carefully implemented.
To this end, the NSDS III, unlike its two previous incantations, demonstrates a high-level and directional thinking linked to a very good mapping to initiatives such as the New Growth Path, the National Industrial Policy Framework, the Industrial Policy Action Plan and many other strategies that seek to advance social and economic development.
The NSDS III proposes very tangible interventions, inter alia:
The provision of PIVOTAL learning programmes which are more occupationally directed and responsive to the needs of employers. To this end, employers are required to become actively involved in the design of occupational curricula in line with the new occupational learning landscape. Employers are also required to open up their work places for the much needed workplace experiential learning.
More collaborations and partnerships among actors in the post schooling system, i.e. between SETAs, Higher Education Institutions and Public FET colleges, this is to achieve a more coherent, systematic and coordinated provision of post school education and training.
The provision of career and vocational guidance.To achieve these goals, PSETA at its 2012 skills colloquium adopted a Skills Strategy that identified its niche in the following themes: “Opening up the Public Service as a training space” and “professionalizing the Public Service”.The overarching strategic imperative of the PSETA is that of building the skills to achieve a “more professional, efficient, effective and development-oriented Public Services sector”.
To this end, PSETA has among others committed to the following interventions in this year’s Annual Performance Plan:
Establishing partnerships with Higher Education Institutions for more qualitative sector research;
Partnering with other SETAs, FET colleges, Government Departments and other key players to ensure a coherent and systematic provision of skills development interventions to tackle the challenge of youth unemployment in particular.
With regard to the provision of career guidance services, PSETA proposes to take a different approach instead of merely participating in the current ‘hit and run’ kind of career exhibitions. PSETA has planned to provide workplace readiness workshops for FET colleges learners to impart tangible skills relating to:
Job seeking techniques; packaging of a professional CV; and
Preparing for job interviews, among others.We are also proposing to work closely with, and capacitate Life Orientation educators (who are having a better reach with learners at school) to disseminate career information and the available sector opportunities in a more structured and systematic way. We will also conduct radio campaigns with community radio stations to reach the youth in deep rural communities.
The perfect window for growth might become a perfect storm unless tangible strategies and plans are put in place to mitigate on the presiding challenge of youth unemployment, a real ticking time bomb.
To this effect, PSETA has concluded Memoranda of Understanding with the Public Affairs Research Institute at Wits University and the University of Fort Hare Public Administration Faculty to assist with developing the 2013/2014 Sector Skills Plan Update. The purpose of the SSP is to identify scarce and critical skills needs of the sectorAs part of this process Wits University is developing a strategic framework for the labour and skills required to build the state capabilities to deliver the National Development Plan.
In the interest of proper consultation and stakeholder inclusion, PSETA hosted an SSP Seminar on the 9 July 2013 attended by stakeholders from across the sector to debate the proposed strategic framework for HRD and skills required to build a capable Public Services sector. A discussion paper has been crafted and forms a bedrock upon which the sector Skills Plan Update will be based and is critical to steer the sector towards building the skills required for a capable state.The framework will influence further analysis of supply and demand data where the Wits team will analyse the data from Performance Assessment Scores of Government Departments against vacancy and turnover rates. Subsequent to this the Fort Hare team will lead a number of task teams analyzing the “skills pipeline” for priority skills areas agreed to in the seminar. The task teams will look at the five key areas to be addressed by Government namely; Human Resource Management and Development; Leadership, Management & Public Administration, Supply Chain Management; E-learning and Green Skills.
Learner intake increases across government departments
The PSETA Learning Programmes Department is responsible for raising the qualifications bar for underqualified Public Service sector employees, encouraging Workplace Based Skills Development , advocating and implementing PIVOTAL programmes within the Public Services sector for the unemployed, increasing the number of employed and unemployed learners on Artisanship and Trades Learning Programmes as well as ensuring compliance with relevant Learnership regulations.
In the past financial year PSETA recorded a total of two thousand four hundred and two (2402) learner intake on different interventions across various Government Departments. An additional 1398 unemployed learners were entered into PIVOTAL training of which a total of 848 completed the programme across different government departments.The PSETA also plays a role of an overseer of Skills Development Implementation. In carrying out this role, Learning Programmes Department conducts induction for both employed and unemployed learners. The purpose of the induction is to brief learners on the processes of entering into an intervention, describing the roles and responsibilities of mentors, go through learnership agreements, ensure learners are ready for the intervention and they understand what is expected of them throughout the training period.Furthermore PSETA conduct monitoring of learners at both the Learning center and work environment. There is no specific period for learners’ intake, it happens throughout the year and as and when Government Departments requires to do so.In this financial year inductions were conducted for the Department of Home Affairs employed learners undergoing the Home Affairs Services qualification. Induction for this qualification intake was conducted at different Home Affairs offices in Kwazulu-Natal (Umngeni, Richards Bay, and Newcastle Regional Office) Western Cape (Cape Town Regional Office) Limpopo (Musina Regional Office) and Mpumalanga (Nelspruit and Oshoek Regional Offices).
Learners for Work Integrated Learning (WIL) are undergoing the programme at the Department of Public Works, Office of the Premier and the Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation in the Free State province. The duration of the WIL programme vary from one university to another depending on the curriculum or qualification a learner is pursuing. The purpose of the programme is to assist graduates to gain work experience or to enable them to complete their qualifications.
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