Thursday 2 October 2014

Employers & Youth Employability - interview with Brent Wyborn, HR Director (Hollard Insurance Group)

Large employers do what they have to in terms of the social problems in their markets. They can't exactly avoid legal responsiblities, but a few employers go beyond the minimum.

An even smaller group of employers try to find a sustainable business model to drive their social investment projects, knowing that such projects will outlive the variable sources of funding which they normally depend on.

Hollard Insurance Group is one such company, and the social investment project is Harambee Work For Work,  an innovative new approach to youth unemployment which intersects with the universal business need for talented new entrants.

Hollard employs 2,547 people, who are served by 35 HR practitioners, administering an annual payroll of R1,2 billion, and paying a Skills Development Levy of approximately R12 million.

Wednesday 28 May 2014

National Scarce Skills List - Call for Comments

You may remember Dept Labour's National Scarce Skills List? It has not been updated for a long time, due to changes and improvements taking place in the way it is developed. Now the DHET has just released a call for comments on the top 100 occupations identified in the updated National Scarce Skills List.

Why comment?

Your comments are important. The National Scarce Skills List informs the immigration policy of the Department of Home Affairs, and also guides and directs considerable investment by the public and private sector in educating and training people to fill the identified scarce skills. The list also informs the career choices of students.

View or download the list below and submit comments to Ms Mmaphake Ramasodi by 20 June 2014. Please also tweet your comments with the hashtag #scarceskills, and these will be listed below as they appear on Twitter.

Tuesday 22 April 2014

SAQA's new NQFpedia - helping you navigate the acronym jungle

NQFpedia is a great tool just launched by SAQA to help simplify the NQF for new-comers, and experts who have to keep up with the continual changes:

Besides providing a one-stop shop for all NQF acronyms and terminology, the site allows commenting on each term, and cross-references related terms.

You can also download the whole glossary as a PDF file, though we suggest you rather popularise the live website link so that we can start a social media process of commenting on the terms and providing feedback to SAQA.

The Green Paper, White Paper and various research reports since 2009 have called for a simplification of the NQF, and noted the difficulty of navigating its complex terminology. The NQFpedia is a welcome response from SAQA to make it easier to understand these important terms, and how they differ across the three sub-frameworks of the NQF.

Not content with one new development, SAQA has simultaneously relaunched its website, which is in our opinion simpler and friendlier, as well as more social (see the Tweet Bar on the right).

By the way SAQA announces a lot of useful news on their Twitter channel, @SAQALive, so its worth following.

You may also want to follow Joe Samuels, the CEO, at @SAQACEO2, and James Keevy (Director: International Liaison) at @jameskeevy, for tweets related to the NQF, or education and training in South Africa.

Sunday 16 March 2014

The White Paper & Private Sector HRD Practice (Event)

If you haven't had time yet to read and digest the significance of the White Paper for Post School Education & Training, then this short event this week organised by the SA Board for People Practice (SABPP), will summarise the key themes and how they impact practitioners in the private sector.

What have you heard said about the White Paper? Some have dismissed it out of hand as just another layer of irrelevant government policy, "same old, same old," divorced from the tough realities of the private sector.

Far from being that, the White Paper represents a significant evolution in the vision of the Dept for Higher Education & Training (DHET), one which is more mature and more in alignment with private sector realities than anything we have seen since 2009.

However the White Paper ups the game for L&D practitioners in the private sector.

Wednesday 19 February 2014

New HRD Plan for South Africa Launches on 3 March 2014

Update at 18 March 2014 -  You can now download the newly released 2014 - 208 National Integrated HRD Plan, or fetch it from the folder below, which includes the 18 Task Team Research Papers that were made public at the Summit.

The Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) was established in March 2010 to co-ordinate the work of building South Africa's human capital across the wide range of stakeholders involved. Modeled on the successful, but temporary JIPSA initiative, the HRD Council signals the awareness by both state and non-government actors that HRD is an apex level priority that deserves collaboration between presidential, CEO and labour union leaders.

Next week will witness a significant milestone in the work of the Council, with the launch of its National Integrated Human Resource Development Plan at Gallagher's Estate in Midrand, Gauteng.

Sunday 16 February 2014

USA pilots career-focused high school model similar to German and Swiss vocational schools

There is an interesting article out in this month's Time Magazine - about a new high school model called the P-Tech program (Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools).

Its about getting high schools to link more closely to employers which has several benefits for the schools:

  1. more funding and sponsorships
  2. help with making the curriculum more relevant in terms of employability, and
  3. building pathways into the workplace for students to start experiencing job shadowing, work experience and internships.

The US cover is to the left and to the right is the Africa edition cover, but the article is the same in both editions and starts on page 31 in the Africa edition.

Unfortunately you have to subscribe to read the full article but I have summarised the article in some tweets below.

Thursday 16 January 2014

The White Paper on Post School Education & Training

"Education is the great engine of personal development" states Nelson Mandela's billboard at the Theo van Wyk building on UNISA Muckleneuk Campus, where the White Paper was launched today

22 July 2014 Update: The Minister of Higher Education & Training gave his budget speech today and indicated that the White Paper would form the basis for a re-alignment of all higher education and training related legislation:
" Our White Paper provides a solid policy framework for our work going forward and all higher education and training legislation must be aligned with it. Consequently all legislation pertaining to higher education and training will be reviewed. Amendments to at least the Higher Education Act, 1997; Skills Development Act; National Qualifications Framework Act, 2008 and the Continuing Education and Training Act, 2006 are envisaged. During the next five years we will concentrate on amendments to legislation and their implementation to enhance the current system."

Table of Contents

Please scroll down to view the headings listed below:
  1. Overview
  2. Purpose
  3. Vision
  4. Background
  5. Highlights (in Tweets)
  6. Timeline
  7. Green Paper vs White Paper 
  8. SETAs 
  9. New developments
  10. Still to come
  11. Enrollment targets
  12. Authors & contributors


Any document that has been in the making for three years is anticipated with a certain amount of awe.

Even more so, given the flurry of activity generated by Minister Nzimande's Department of Higher Education & Training (DHET) since its inception in 2009.

Rather than be intimidated by the sheer size, complexity and independence of institutions in the post school sector, Minister Nzimande showed an appetite for streamlining the sector which equally matched the massive task in front of him (a task which had been somehow avoided by each education administration before him).

For all his opponents' criticism about the direction he was taking the DHET, and the speed with which he was moving, Minister Nzimande's White Paper has now delivered a clear statement of the DHET vision for 2014 - 2030. It is a vision statement based on the hard experience gathered by the Department since 2009, rather than the theoretical musings of a new administration, which may have been the case if it was issued five years ago.