Nzimande moots changes to Seta system

HIGHER Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande yesterday proposed far-reaching changes to the sector education and training authorities system.

HIGHER Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande yesterday proposed far-reaching changes to the sector education and training authorities system.

The proposals include reducing the number of Setas from 23 to 21, amalgamating several Setas to secure greater efficiencies that will result in six new Setas being established, and recertifying the remaining 15 with minor changes.

Nzimande said the governance mechanisms for Setas were being reviewed and legislative steps would be taken to improve their functioning.

"We are also looking into patterns of mismanagement and non-performance in the Setas and will release details within the next two weeks about action to be taken."

The Skills Development Act allowed the minister, after consultation with the National Skills Authority (NSA) and the Seta in question, to instruct the director-general to appoint an administrator to take over the administration of a Seta or to perform the functions of a Seta if, among other things, the Seta failed to perform its functions.

The new "Seta landscape" would be adopted by the third quarter of this year after consultation with the NSA.

"The criteria guiding the proposed new landscape are to ensure coverage of all economic sectors, financial and operational viability and alignment with current government priorities," Nzimande said.

The Department of Higher Education and Training assumed responsibility for skills development from the Department of Labour in November last year.

Nzimande also released a draft framework for the National Skills Development Strategy.

The framework was intended to guide development of the Sectoral Skills Plans (SSP) for adoption by September 2010.

SSPes were five-year skills development reports prepared by Setas and were aimed at identifying, among other things, the skills needs of industry-economic sectors, such as skills shortages, gaps and supply. - Sapa

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