Skills development along with education and training are vital elements for the people in South Africa and for the economy, considered to the fact that most Grade 12 students who had completed school in South Africa does not have sufficient skills to be accepted for a job in any field of the economy. This rueful reality is obviously one of the main reasons why South Africa has a shockingly high unemployment rate according to the latest South African jobs statistics. This includes the fact that 39% of all unemployed South Africans have never worked before. Among young people, this figure is even higher – 60.3% of all unemployed young generations have zero experience in working. The high levels of youth unemployment bring concern to the social stability as it might cause social upheaval. Topping it all off, the high rate of unemployment does not only happen to the young generations – it also includes the elderly’s problem in long-term unemployment after they lost their jobs.
In regard to this matter, to save South Africa and its people from such issues, the government attempted to analyse the roots of the problem along with its supporting factors, and as the result, they strive to facilitate job opportunities for those aged between 15 and 29 who account for nearly half of the total unemployed. But that’s not all – they also came to an idea to organise capacity building, as it can be an effective solution. This process includes skill development which is exactly what the people in South Africa need in order to meet the requirements and have sufficient skills to get a job.
Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) is a vocational skills training organisation located in South Africa. It legally creates and manages learnerships, internships, unit-based skills programme and apprenticeships for industries and institutions in South Africa. It had been reported in March 2011 that there are a total of 21 SETAs that covers every industry and institution in the country – each of them by one SETA.
Prior to 2000, before SETA was established, there were 33 industry training boards in South Africa that covered various sectors in the country. The training boards focused mainly on apprenticeships whereas ‘education and training’ was supposed to be their responsibility. They were not responsible for ensuring levels of the trainee’s quality when it came to things like college courses.
SETA was established due to the experts’ ideas, back in 1996, that South Africa needed a skills revolution in order to survive the highly competitive global marketplace. The South African Parliament then took the ideas to consideration, thereafter ratified the Skills Development Act in 1998. The act defined a new Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) system, setting up its goal as to develop a series of plans in building and enhancing sector skills for the country’s citizens within an explicit framework of the National Skills Development Strategy.
A learnership is a structured learning programme that combines theoretical learning and practical workplace experience to obtain a registered qualification on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). The elements required to be contained in a learnership according to the Skills Development Act are as following:
- A structured learning component (theoretical training)
- Practical work experience (on-the-job training)
- It must lead to qualification if completed successfully
- It must relate to an occupation
There are numerous benefits to participating in a learnership programme. These benefits include:
- Easier and more affordable access to learning
- Increased employment opportunities due to the practical work experience gained and the opportunity for networking
- An opportunity to learn more about different career options
- Earning a full qualification upon successful completion of the learnership
The SETAs were given much greater powers and far reaching responsibilities than those old training boards had as the SETAs were established to ensure that every industry and occupation in South Africa was covered. Each SETA focuses and holds responsibilities in different sectors, thus they work optimally in every corner of the economy. Below is a list of all 21 SETAs that people can choose when applying for the SETA Learnerships.
- Agricultural Sector Education and Training Authority (AgriSETA) (agriseta.org.za)
- Bank SETA (bankseta.org.za)
- Letsema Post Matric Learnership
- Kuyasa Post Graduate Learership
- Construction Sector Education and Training Authority (ceta.org.za)
- Chemical Industries SETA (chieta.org.za)
- Culture Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sports SETA (cathsseta.org.za)
- Energy and Water SETA (eseta.org.za)
- Education Training and Development Practices SETA (etdpseta.org.za)
- Financial and Accounting Services SETA (fasset.org.za)
- Fibre, Processing and Manufacturing SETA (fpmseta.org.za)
- Food and Beverage Manufacturing Industry SETA (foodbev.co.za)
- Health and Welfare SETA (hwseta.org.za)
- Insurance SETA (inseta.org.za)
- Local Government SETA (lgseta.org.za)
- Media, Advertising, Information and Communication Technologies SETA (mict.org.za)
- Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services SETA (merseta.org.za)
- Mining Qualifications Authority SETA (mqa.org.za)
- Public Service SETA (pseta.org.za)
- Safety and Security SETA (sasseta.org.za)
- Services SETA (serviceseta.org.za)
- Transport SETA (teta.org.za)
- Wholesale and Retail SETA (wrseta.org.za)
Those interested in joining the SETA Learnerships can send their applications to the SETA that is responsible for the relevant industry sector. The SETA will then forward the applications to the employers who, thereafter, will do the short-listing, interviewing and all the recruitment process for the learnerships. Meanwhile, SETA is then responsible for registering the learnership in the relevant industry sector with the Department of Higher Education. Any unemployed people as well as those who wish to undergo further training or to upgrade their qualifications are welcomed to apply for a learnership programme.
Entry Requirements for the SETA Learnerships
People that are interested to participate in the SETAs Learnerships must meet the following minimum requirements.
- A positive recommendation or official testimonial from a previous school, learning institution, or religious institution
- Present a professional photo
- Currently unemployed
- Clear credit (ITC) and no criminal record
- Currently not participating in a learnership
- Under the age of 30 on the year that the learnership is recruiting for
- Not involved in any other studies on the year that the learnership is recruiting for
- Person with a disability must provide a medical certificate confirming the nature of the disability
- Only South African Citizens that possess a valid South African ID will be considered
- Effective communication in written and verbal English.
Please note that some SETAs might require specific qualifications. Visit the SETAs’ official websites for more information on the programme.
How to Apply for the SETA Learnerships
- Decide what skills you want. If you like the outdoors, don’t apply for in-office jobs.
- Register as a work-seeker. Register at the nearest labour centre to help employers find you.
- Find employers that offer learnerships. Contact SETAs to find out which employers offer learnerships. You can also find openings and watch adverts in newspapers.
- Draw up a CV. Start with writing your personal details (name, date of birth, etc.), then continue to give sententious details on your education (school attended and qualifications), work experience (if you have one or more), expertise (computer skills, language skills, analysing skills, etc.), and referees (names and contact details of people who know you well)
- Prepare for an interview. Think of the kind of questions you may be asked and practice with a friend.
- Keep your details updated. Keep in contact with your labour centre and update your details when they change.