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Don’t overcomplicate things with SETA’s – a training partner is a valuable accomplice

By Daniel Orelowitz, MD of Training Force

Any business that offers learnerships, internships, skills programmes and apprenticeships need to deal with various Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs). This can, however, be a complicated task. There are currently 21 different SETAs in South Africa, and they all have different processes and systems. In addition, for qualifications to be recognised by the SETA, training needs to be delivered by an accredited institution. Partnering with the right training provider can help to ease the complexity of navigating SETAs while delivering quality, accredited training that contributes to economic growth and sustainability.

Complicated landscapes

SETAs play a vital role in South Africa, offering vocational training and skills transfer in line with the National Development Plan. Any business that offers skills development as part of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) needs to get involved with at least the SETA involved in their particular industry, but often those for other industries as well. The issue is that there is no centralised system for SETAs and the systems and processes are frequently changing.

In addition, the process for registration is complicated and can take months. This means that enrolling learners can be onerous, especially when they are engaging in qualifications that are part of a different industry – for example, a manufacturing enterprise sending learners for business and technology training. For many businesses, a dedicated team for training and development just is not feasible, and a lack of time and expertise to handle these complexities is a common problem.

Negative impacts

Challenges around dealing effectively with SETAs can negatively impact training objectives. If the processes are not conformed to, the SETA may reject registrations, and the entire process must start again, causing significant delays. The complicated registration process can hold the process up, resulting in the late registration of learners, which can, in turn, affect B-BBEE scores for the year due to a lack of skills development points. The learners themselves also suffer, as they are not able to start their skills development programmes.

The external moderation of learners can also prove to be a stumbling block because this requires accredited personnel, and without this external moderation, the SETA will not award the learner with their certificate or qualification.

Your training partner is invaluable

Short of having an entire team in-house to be accredited and run and manage learnership processes with SETAs, a training partner is an invaluable resource. Not only do they have the accreditations to be able to handle the process from end to end, but they also dedicate resources toward dealing with complex registration.

As the core business of a training partner is to facilitate training, they will also take over the entire admin-intensive process of registrations, ensuring they are completed correctly according to the different requirements of the different SETAs. An effective training partner will have a team focused exclusively on registrations, making sure that documents are accurate and correct before submission so as to avoid possible problems. They will also follow up, make sure that everything is in order, and that there are no delays so that learners can start on time and B-BBEE points can be allocated correctly.

When it comes to navigating the complexities of SETAs, partners are critical. Make sure that you partner with an experienced, accredited training provider with the expert knowledge of the ins and outs of the various SETAs. This is essential in navigating this important, yet often frustrating and time-consuming element of business in South Africa.

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