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What is a SETA?

What is a SETA?

The Setas were established in March 2000 and are responsible for the disbursement of training levies payable by all employers in the country. Setas replace and extend the work of the old industry training boards and are accredited by the South African Qualifications Authority.

Each separate economic sector has one Seta. There are 21 Setas which cover all work sectors in South Africa, including government sectors. The members of Setas include trade unions, government and bargaining councils from appropriate industries.

Within its own sector, a Seta must develop and implement a skills development plan, be responsible for quality control and pay out development grants.

Part of the objective of the Setas is to ensure that the skills requirements of the various sectors are identified, and that the adequate and appropriate skills are readily available. They are required to ensure that training is of the appropriate quality, meets agreed standards as laid out by the national framework, and caters for the training needs of new entrants to the labour market as well as the currently employed work force.

The Setas are also responsible for a learnership programme and the implementation of strategic sector skills plans. They have discretionary funds, drawn from their levy income, that can be used for projects designed to assist in the achievement of sector priorities, including the design and implementation of learnerships.

Making inroads with the SETAs – “Every Workplace a Learning Space”

These measures are part of improving the governance and effectiveness of the Seta system and aligning it to the post-school system and the new growth path. While training on its own does not create jobs, job creation will not be realised unless we have an appropriately skilled and knowledgeable citizenry.

Improved work placement for our youth through learnerships, internships and apprenticeships has the potential of creating opportunities for jobs and other forms of sustainable livelihoods. Setas can make a huge difference if appropriately guided and refocused on the country’s development priorities.

A National Skills Accord was signed to enhance training opportunities for workers and the unemployed. This accord included employers committing themselves to absorbing the many youths from FET colleges and universities of technology who require placement for 12 to 18 months in order to become artisans or complete their diplomas. In addition, FET college lecturers will be given the opportunity for workplace experience to expose them to the latest industrial and commercial technologies.

Making SETAs, accessible and one of the reasons was the location of their offices, which are found in upmarket suburbs. Setas are not easily accessible to ordinary South Africans, specifically those who live in rural areas and townships, yet they are some of the major intended beneficiaries of the Seta system. These include college students or graduates, as well as the unemployed who are seeking learnerships and internships. The SLAs Setas will sign with the department will now have to include opening offices in targeted townships and rural areas. It is also envisaged that SETAs could pool their resources to ensure that every main campus of our 50 public FET colleges has a Seta office. This will go a long way in closely aligning Setas with our FET colleges for purposes of improving work placement.

Setas must be authorities on labour market information in their sectors. One of their core responsibilities is the development of sector skills plans, which are intended to align the supply and demand for skills in the sectors in which Setas operate. The key beneficiaries should be disadvantaged members of society, but the organisations which employ them and the economy as a whole will obviously also benefit.

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