A skilled and capable workforce for the public service sector
“Skilled and capable workforce required to achieve a more professional, efficient, effective and development-oriented public service sector”
This is the driving statement behind the work of the PSETA. As a SETA responsible for skills development at the national level, provincial level and public entities it is imperative that building the demand side capacity for skills planning be a focus area. The National Development Plan calls for the building of a “capable state” underpinned by “effectively coordinated state institutions with skilled public servants who are committed to the public good and capable of delivering consistently high-quality services, while prioritising the nation’s developmental objectives.”(NDP,2012)
Research on the drivers of organisational performance: critical skills for developing organisational capacity show that, there are a number of departments in the public service that are well functioning organisations able to deliver or their organisational mandate and staffed by personnel who have a strong professional ethos.
The Department of Home Affairs notable performance for example, is linked to giving attention to the administrative and managerial challenges of service delivery, and developing effective training in this regard. Secondly, successful approaches to training and recruitment of new officials has been shaped by a strategic prioritisation of the skills needs of the department but most importantly the improved departmental performance of the department is linked to the strategic positioning of Human Resources (HR) and Human Resources Development (HRD). An effective and autonomous HR function is important for stabilising administrations and developing clear and attractive career paths for officials.
To ensure a skilled and capable workforce, it is therefore crucial that the development of skills is constrained within a broader organisational and institutional context. Thus, 1) Individual training needs to be linked to organisational contexts, goals and capacity needs 2) Skills development plans must attend to the need for basic organisation building in the public service 3) Skills development initiatives of the PSETA should therefore prioritise training that supports organisational development (OD). Other successful training approaches adopted in the public service include; long term secondment of expertise from other departments, and outside the public service prioritised over outsourcing-used to build skills of new staff. Departments also built partnerships with education institutions to provide the most appropriate form of sector specific training for staff.
Linking education and workplace
“Public Service is crucial for the future development of the country as outlined in the NDP. Turning the public service into a training space is key instrument for liberating South Africans from inequality, unemployment, skills and poverty gaps” Dr Nzimande
South Africa has one of the highest youth unemployment rates and youth adult unemployment ratios of all developing countries. Speaking at the recently held PSETA 2nd Skills Colloquium, Minister Nzimande emphasised on linking education and the workplace with special focus on the PSETA’s role of opening up the public service as a training space. In “opening up the public service sector to act as a training space”, the public service sector becomes a mechanism for capacity building rather than being the direct target of interventions to improve capacity. What is still needed is a clearer articulation of the mechanisms for improving the department’s ability to act as a training space, which I am addressing through a draft strategy to be tabled at Cabinet.
The transition, especially from education to work can be very difficult for all young people. Many young people have to face unemployment for several months, if not years, before finding their first job after leaving education. Obtaining a first job is a challenge in any context.
Public Service is crucial for the future development of the country as outlined in the NDP. Turning the Public Service into a training space is key instrument for liberating South Africa from inequality, unemployment, skills and poverty gaps. In the State of the Nation address the President highlighted that the public service sector needed to train young people and offer internships; work integrated learning (WIL), learner ships and bursaries.
Government should also offer young graduates the opportunity to complete their traineeships so that they could be certified. The issue of quality mentoring and coaching in workplaces is very central in the entire pipeline of education and training, from school level right up to training in the workplace. The Public Service Sector through PSETA has a huge potential into turning its workplace into a training space. The issue of quality mentoring and coaching in workplaces is very central in the entire pipeline of education and training in the workplace. The public service sector through PSETA has a huge potential into turning its workplace into a training space.
Furthermore, the White Paper of Post-School Education and Training emphasises that one of the purposes of post-school system is to prepare workers for the labour market or to enable individuals to earn sustainable livelihoods through self-employment. The ultimate aim of South African government is to improve the quality of workplace training, which is why SETAs have a crucial role to play in facilitating such workplace learning and partnerships between employers and educational institutions.
This is further emphasized in the National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS) III which seeks to encourage and actively support the integration of workplace training with theoretical learning to facilitate a journey that an individual makes from school, college or university or during unemployment, to sustained employment and in-work progression. Linking education and training is at the heart of the White Paper for Post School Education and Training. Workplace training and work integrated learning (WIL) must be a central part of our training system.
Lack of work experience is one of the constraints faced by young people in accessing jobs. I therefore urge Government departments and provinces to link the internship programme to their Human Resource Development Strategies to create a talent pool from which to recruit from in order to close vacancies and meet the scarce skills requirement, the minister said.
Levy contribution to the PSETA F/Y 2014/2015In terms of the DPSA Directive, a contribution of 30% of the 1% of total department’s annual personnel budget for training and development of its personnel and potential employees is to be paid over to the line function SETA and to PSETA. The contribution of the 30% portion shall be payable to the SETA quarterly and no later than the last day of the first month of each quarter. It is the responsibility of your department to submit a written request to the relevant Treasury seeking and motivating for the creation of transfers to the PSETA in line with Treasury Regulation 6.3.1(a) and (b). The account details to which transfers may be made is as follows: The Public Service Sector Education & Training Authority; ABSA Bank; Account Number: 40-5196-0384; Current Account; Branch Name: RBB Commercial Northern Region; Branch Code: 632005. Gratitude to all the Departments who have started making the transfers to PSETA.
Utilisation of the 1% levy Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What is the 1% levy and what purpose does it serve?
Answer: It is a portion of the personnel budget for training and development that is paid to SETAs by employers. It is meant to ensure employees have ongoing and equitable access to training interventions identified in the Sector Skills Plan.
Question: Who should pay the 1% levy?
Answer: In terms of Skills Development Act all employers with over 50 employees pay the levy.
Question: Does the entire 1% PSETA?
Answer: Of the 1% only 30% is paid to a SETA with which the employer is affiliated and 70% of the 1% will remain with the employer. 20% shall be set aside for unemployed youth training and the other 50% will be utilised for current employees.
Question: How is the transfer to PSETA created?
Answer: Government departments must apply to their relevant Treasury for the creation of transfer payments to PSETA in 2014/2015. The creation of transfers to PSETA must take place in accordance with the PFMA, 1999 as amended. Increase of transfers to an entity has to be applied for by the accounting officer of the department to National Treasury.
Question: Are all employers compelled to pay the levy?
Answer: Yes. Per annum each government department shall set aside a minimum of one percent (1%) of the total annual personnel budget for training and development of its personnel and potential employees
Question: How will I know if the transfer is successful?
Answer: The creation of transfers is approved by Treasury and accounting officers will be notified accordingly. PSETA will therefore circulate to all departments a list with names of departments and amounts that each department is expected to transfer to PSETA.
Question: How does an employee benefit from the 1%?
Answer: SETAs fund discretionary projects, as applied for by the respective employer, which include bursaries, learnerships, skills programmes and occupational qualifications
Question: What happens if an employer fails to pay the levy?
Answer: All employers are obligated to contribute the levies in terms of the directive of the DPSA No1 of 2013 and the National Treasury Circular issued on 9th July 2014.
Question: What is the exact amount that should be transferred to PSETA?
Answer: DPSA in the HRD Circular 1 of 2013 has worked out a formula for the calculation of levies to the line function SETA and to PSETA
Question: How often should the transfer to PSETA be made?
Answer: Monthly and Quarterly
Question: How would departments know into which account to transfer the money to PSETA?
Answer: Departments must consult PSETA through the office of the CFO and relevant documents will be made available to departments.
Question: Should PSETA invoice or send invoices to Departments?
Answer: No this is a transfer payment in terms of the cabinet decision and Ministerial Directive
Question: Must departments only wait for the creation of transfer by Treasury before transfer?
Answer: No. Departments may send BAS forms to the PSETA to complete for them to capture the details. Subsequent, to that payments may be made.
Question: Who do I contact should I need clarity regarding transfer of levies to PSETA?
Answer: Manager or CFO on office number 012 423 5733 or email email@example.com