No clarity regarding practical component of learnerships

SDC’s Melissa van Aswegan says the skills development landscape remains largely unchanged.

Despite the high degree of change happening across the world at government and socio-economic levels, the Skills Development Corporation (SDC) says not much has changed from a government legislation perspective when it comes to skills development in South Africa.

Business BEE scorecard requirements remain the same with one slight change, as per the National Minimum Wage Act (amended in February this year). Remuneration processes for clients who reabsorb learners, however, have been affected slightly.

Melissa van Aswegan, operations ETQA manager for SDC, says this is good news for business because, despite the skills development levy holiday granted by the government during Covid-19, companies will still be audited for those months and rated from an expenditure perspective when processing the BEE scorecard submission.

“Where the effects of Covid-19 have been slightly trickier, is for the practical elements of the learnership programme,” says Melissa, adding that because 70 percent of their programme is based on practical, in-situ learning and with limited spaces thanks to social distancing, the pandemic has had an impact.

Although there has been no news from Sector Education and Training Authorities on how they plan to implement and host the physical part of learnership programmes, the SDC has already set wheels in motion to be able to facilitate as many of the practical applications within their stable of skills development divisions that have been designed to future-proof South African youth.

“At this stage, we have placed some learners in our fully-functional call centre and we facilitate practical learnerships across the SDC Wealth side of the business that operates as an independent financial services business,” she says.