ICT seta falls behind in qualifications registration

16th May 2003 By: Joanne Delaurentis

After more than three years in operation, the country’s sector education and training authority (Seta) for the information and communication technology (ICT) industry is yet to register a single information technology or telecommunications qualification.

As an authorised standards and qualifications development body, recognised by the South African Qualifications Authority, this is one of the core functions of the Seta in its aim to develop skills in the ICT sector of the country.

Speaking at a stakeholder briefing in Midrand last week, the organisation’s newly-appointed CEO Oupa Mopaki told members of the ICT sector that the process of registering qualifications was seen as a top priority and that the process would be fast-tracked in the future.

Mopaki hopes to have between two and four of the first ICT qualifications registered before the end of May.

In other developments, the Isett Seta has conducted a careful analysis of the funds spent on each of its learnership programmes, which revealed that the organisation is not market related and needs to pursue partnerships with companies in the sector who are looking for skilled people.

To date the Seta has paid training providers R50 000 per student in a one-year learnership programme.

This has now been decreased to R25 000 to be paid to the qualification training provider per student, plus a weekly allowance for each student, bringing the total cost of a learnership down to some R31 000 a year, says Mopaki.

From April 2002 to April 2003 the Isett Seta received 883 workplace skills plans, up from 670 in the previous year.

The Seta is currently funding 34 skills programmes, affecting some 5 830 learners, with R38,1-million committed to support these initiatives.

At present only about half of the 8 000 ICT sector companies are paying skills levies.