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Swiss South African Cooperation Initiative



Gordon Institute of Business Science

Keynote Speakers


Zukile Mvalo 
Deputy Director-General: Skills Development, Department of Higher Education and Training








Joe Samuels

Joe Samuels
Chief Executive Officer, South African Qualifications Authority

Mr Joe Samuels holds a BSc (Hon) and a MPhil from the   University of the Western Cape, South Africa.  He is a specialist in Educational Policy and Education Change, Qualifications Frameworks, Standards Setting and Adult and Community Education.
He worked as a laboratory technician (Medical Research Council), teacher (Worcester); and lecturer in Physiology (UWC). He then worked a Coordinator: Continuing Education Programmes at the Centre for Adult and Continuing Education (CACE) at the University of the Western Cape for 10 years prior to joining SAQA on 1 November 1997.  He was the Director for Standards Setting and Development before his promotion to the position of Deputy Executive Officer which he held from 1 August 2005 until March 2012 when he became SAQA’s CEO.
Joe has organised and participated in many national and international seminars and conference where he delivered various papers, covering topics like the role of National Qualifications Frameworks (NQF), the generation of qualifications and standards, quality assurance within education and training, the integration of education and training, human rights and the NQF and NQFs in the SADC region as well as the Regional Qualifications Framework.  Joe serves on the SAQA Board, the Council on Higher Education (CHE), Umalusi Council, Quality Council for Trades and Occupations, Ministerial Examinations Irregularities Committees, Ministerial Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Task Team and National Assessment and Examination Committee of the Department of Basic Education.

In January 2012 the Green Paper for Post-School Education and Training set out a bold new vision for the post-school system.  In an attempt to address the main challenges in this sector, the consultation paper proposed a number of adjustments required to improve articulation, including the expansion of the Further Education and Training (FET) college sector and new institutional types.  The National Qualifications Framework (NQF) was singled out as in need of simplification, both in terms of qualifications and its quality assurance regime.  At the time SAQA engaged directly with the Green Paper and also organised a public consultation where international experts were asked to comment on the proposals from their own experiences in the Netherlands and Ireland.  Nearly two years have passed since the release of the Green Paper, and much has happened in this period. Important for the contribution of the NQF to the post-school environment, the three sub-frameworks were determined in December 2012, while the policies on the Higher Education and General and Further Education and Training Qualifications Sub-Frameworks were finalised in August 2013.  A White Paper has also been drafted and a consultation took place between the Ministry of Higher Education and Training and its statutory bodies on 16 July 2013.  At this point SAQA emphasised the need for congruency between the White Paper (and the proposed new legislation) with the determination of the sub-frameworks of the NQF.  As noted in the original Green Paper, the intention was never to initiate another review of the NQF;  as such it is SAQA’s responsibility as custodian of the NQF, to ensure that the NQF remains relevant and a stable support for the broader education and training system, including post-schooling. This presentation provides an overview of these most recent developments within the NQF context, SAQA’s position on the debates raised in the Green Paper, as well as key considerations for the White Paper as we move closer to the promulgation of new legislation for the post-school sector.

Donna Hensley
Principal, Hensley & Associates, Australia

Donna Hensley is a consultant who has worked in the Vocational Education and Training (VET) system for over 25 years. During this time, as the National Innovation Program Manager for the Australian Government’s National VET E-learning Strategy she was focussed on making e-learning an integral part of the Australian National Training System.  Donna is also a Conjoint Senior Lecturer at the University of Newcastle and as Principal of Hensley & Associates has undertaken various research projects directed at finding ways to enhance flexibility, inclusion and innovation within VET to meet the needs of industry and individuals.

Ms Hensley will provide an historical overview of the Australian Government’s National Vocational Education and Training (VET) E-learning Strategy which is aimed at strengthening the Australian training sector’s use of new learning technologies, stimulating innovative approaches to increasing participation in training and employment and improving the skill levels of the Australian workforce.  Reference will also be made to recent research into good e-practice in e-learning, particularly for disadvantaged learners.

Ruben Richards

Dr Ruben Richards
Artisan, company director, author and philanthropist

Ruben Richards, PhD, is a company director and published author.  He started his adult life as a clothing factory worker following which he completed his apprenticeship in fitting and turning in the marine and general engineering sector.  After qualifying as a tradesman, Ruben’s 30-year career has included becoming an ordained cleric, being executive secretary to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Deputy Director-General of the now disbanded Scorpions, and CEO of a large engineering company, and an academic.  Ruben is currently, among other things, a director of communiTgrow (Pty) Ltd, a company with a vision to build new cities, and through his philanthropic foundation, actively works as a peace builder in the ganglands of the Cape Flats.

Dr Richards will examine the importance of a coherent education and training system for an industrialised economy drawing on lessons from the illegal and criminal economy of South Africa.  He point out that only sector of society where there is absolutely no skills shortage, no incoherence when it comes to training and development, and no disconnect between policy and practice is the criminal economy is the criminal economy.  It remains an uncomfortable fact that that the criminal economy is coherent, effective and dynamic – and  constantly and consistently supplied with adequately and appropriately trained personnel who grow that economy.  The IMF estimates the value of world criminal economy to be between 2-5 per cent of the global GDP.  This then raises the critical question:  Why is the legal and democratic economy of South Africa not able to do the same? Where is the disconnect? Ruben's paper will make explicit some of the systems and methods used in the criminal economy that ensure a constant supply of well trained specialists to manage and grow that economy. 


Ken Duncan, CEO, Swiss South African Cooperation Initiative

Establishing a Vocational and Continuing Education Institute for South AfricaEstablishing a Vocational and Continuing Education Institute for South Africa

In March 2012, the Minister of Higher Education and Training established a task team to examine the role a national institute could play in strengthening vocational and continuing education and skills development in South Africa, and to make recommendations on its mandate and organisation. This paper reviews what the task team did, who it consulted, the issues it faced, what it recommended and why, and what is likely to emerge from the process. 




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Sean Archer, Research Associate, Southern Africa Labour & Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town

Key issues in the assessment of South Africa’s skills training policies.Key issues in the assessment of South Africa’s skills training policies.

Nobody is satisfied with the volume and quality of skills being trained currently in the South African labour force. This paper argues that the research work needed to understand the deficiencies of the existing system and its facilitating policies has still to be performed. Government must undertake that investigation because it has access to the required information which other interest groups do not have.

Employers are the most important takers of decisions in the training sphere but their knowledge and views tend to be neglected.

There is an excessive preoccupation with the supply of skills to the neglect of demand side determinants. This shows up in over-ambitious planning.

Skills training is prone to market failure because of inadequate and asymmetric information in the making of investment decisions for skills production. Thus intermediary institutions are essential, like employer & industry associations, trade unions, collective bargaining chambers, social security funds & government agencies that regulate & provide subsidies.

All human capital investment is self-productive, in the sense that skill begets skill, meaning that early advantages produce later advantages. How does this or should this influence the focus of official skill policies?

An emerging theme in the international literature is that training delivery, or successful production of skills in response to market & policy incentives, is an insufficient policy goal. Such skills are not necessarily used effectively inside producing organisations (firms, government departments, SOEs, non-profits, NGOs), so that interventions are required to link skills supply to skills utilisation. Whether true or exaggerated, such a perspective is new in the South African arena of discussion.

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Shanita Roopnarain, Senior Project Manager, Swiss South African Cooperation Initiative

Continued professional development (CPD) of FET college lecturers through workplace exposureContinued professional development (CPD) of FET college lecturers through workplace exposure

To adequately prepare their students for the world of work, college lecturers need a good understanding of the kinds of workplaces their students might work in and of the work they would be required to do. Real workplace exposure is one of the best ways for lecturers to gain this understanding and keep their industry knowledge and skills current. Very importantly, it helps them to relate what they are teaching to what actually happens in workplaces.

Research in South Africa and elsewhere shows that the provision of workplace experience for college students and lecturers has a strong and positive effect on student pass rates and prospects of employment. It also motivates lecturers to “raise their game”, helps align the curriculum with the needs and expectations of industry and promotes long-term cooperation between colleges and employers. It is for this reason that workplace learning is viewed in government policy as a key driver in improving the performance and impact of FET colleges. It is also why in the National Skills Accord government and business committed themselves to providing workplace exposure to 16000 college lecturers per annum from 2013.

SSACI has been working with FET colleges on providingstudent workplace-based experience (WBE) since 2008 and in 2009 expanded this focus to include workplace exposure for lecturers (LWE). Our early work with lecturers, however, revealed that there are many challenges associated with providing LWE within the college system. Toward the end of 2012, SSACI embarked on a research project with a group of colleges to develop a workable approach to LWE for college lecturers as part of their continuing professional development.

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Gavin MacGregor, Director, Umthombo Youth Development Foundation

Exceptional university performance of rural students studying health science degrees:  a practice-based model  Exceptional university performance of rural students studying health science degrees: a practice-based model

Out of a crisis of a critical shortage of qualified health care workers at a rural hospital situated in remote northern Kwa Zulu Natal, an innovative programme of investing in rural youth to become the future health care workers was established.
Over the past 12 years the Umthombo Youth Development Foundation (UYDF) has produced 135 qualified health care professionals in 16 health science disciplines - 42 are Doctors. The UYDF is currently supporting 192 rural youth to become qualified health care professionals. The comprehensive mentoring support programme, which assists students to overcome the academic and social challenges they face, as well as exposing them to the world of work through annual holiday work, is the backbone of the success of the programme. The University pass rate of the UYDF students in 2012 was 92% (88% in 2011) and overall drop out rate over the past 12 years is 13%.
As these youth graduate and take up employment at their local hospital (this is the condition of the UYDF support), they earn a monthly salary most of which is used to assist their family (most often to assist siblings to access better schooling ). In addition these young graduates become role models in their community, inspiring the youth to work hard and make something of their lives.

This programme has shown that rural youth can succeed at university if provided with the necessary support, and they can have a huge impact in addressing poverty in their community as they work and spend their money in the community.

This paper will discuss the initiatives implemented that have lead to the high success rate of rural students studying health science degrees. The paper and programme described address a number of priorities of the Green Paper on Post School Education and Training such as improving access to higher education for rural youth, student support leading to greater levels of success (less failure and higher graduation), access to funding for rural students, provision of information to rural school learners including careers (subjects and grades needed) and the university application process and loan and bursary funding.

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Andre van der Bijl, Faculty of Education and Social Sciences, Cape Peninsula University of Technology

From Practitioners, Trainers and Teachers to Education, Training and Development PractitionersFrom Practitioners, Trainers and Teachers to Education, Training and Development Practitioners

The proposed post school education landscape implies the existence of people capable of developing through learning facilitation and assessment.  The existing South African model for developing education and training development practitioners, however, is secular with different qualification models for training, higher education, vocational education and education at schools.The secular nature of the ETD practitioner development structure has its roots partly in international trends but largely in the national qualifications framework introduced in the 1990s.

The proposed post school education structure has developed out of the post-apartheid vision for education and training.  The vision, while articulated within the struggle discourse, was framed around adaptations of structures developed in a variety of countries and reflected socio-political international trends of the 1980s.  One of the international trends was the evolution of a requirement that learning facilitators in sectors other than the school sector required accreditation or qualifications in presenting, assessing and accrediting learning, in addition to qualifications in their field of expertise.  Within the evolving post-apartheid system of education and training four different qualification structures were developed for learning facilitators, with a fifth recently promulgated.  As a result qualifications frameworks have been developed for early childhood development, educators in schooling, higher education, occupationally directed education and training and, recently college lecturers.  The five structures are sector specific and do not allow for articulation across sectors, which contradicts the intention of the national qualifications framework.

While the Green Paper on Post School Education addresses issues related to the sectors mentioned above it is silent about the development and accreditation of the practitioners that will implement it.

The proposed presentation will:

  • Trace international trends that resulted in a movement towards knowledge based social structures
  • Polices that were introduced for practitioners in different places and at different levels of education and training in South Africa
  • Implications of the envisaged post school education framework for current ETD policies and practices.

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Rose Horne, Programme Manager, AccessTrust

From college to employment:  a successful model enabling the skills acquisitionFrom college to employment: a successful model enabling the skills acquisition

disadvantaged communities to access skilled employment through gaining qualifications at public Further Education and Training Colleges.    Established in 1998, the Trust’s model of support has evolved to include bursaries and support suitably qualified individuals to train in selected courses that lead to skills that are in demand in industry, who are then supported to find work placement/internships and/or employment.

Access Trust bursars have a more than 90% pass rate with a high percentage moving into fulltime employment within six months of the completion of their courses.  This paper provides insight into the evolution of this model, how it is applied paying specific attention to the importance of its partners.

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Chris Vorwerk, Director, Xasa Consulting

Occupational qualifications: Work experience and REAL skills developmentOccupational qualifications: Work experience and REAL skills development

As SAQA  registers more occupational  qualifications, HR, ETD and related practitioners are facing the challenge to implementing a new curriculum component called work experience. Work experience forms the basis for workplace learning but few have the tools to prepare for and implement learning programmes  in a real-time, real life working environment. Apprenticeships, internships, articles of clerkship, pupillages and other forms of occupational and professional development are as old as the hills. But that culture is no longer valued or practiced effectively. Yet they a crucial to the ultimate learning outcome: the development of an occupational identity within a community of practice.

This paper outlines some of the challenges the solutions towards making work experience work.

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Susanne Taylor, Work Integrated Learning Coordinator, University of Johannesburg

Education and Training for the Workplace, in the Workplace!Education and Training for the Workplace, in the Workplace!

A key aspect of the National Development Plan (2011) is sustainable development for SA, with government, business and civil society initiatives to improve the lives of all South Africans.  The Green Paper for Post-School Education and Training (2012), together with other recent skills development and human resource legislation promulgated, such as the National Skills Development Strategy III (2011), the National Skills Accord (2011) and the Skills Development Amendment Bill (2011), place a responsibility on Further and Higher EducationInstitutions to ensure that the education and training delivered meets the needs of the economy. 

A recurring theme across the legislation is the concept of partnerships, specifically the triple helix partnerships: education, government and industry.These partnerships are a key aspect to successful implementation of the cooperative education teaching and learning strategy, where classroom learning is complemented by authentic workplace practice.  This experiential learning component is known by various terms: in-service training, work placement, work integrated learning and internships, to name a few.

This paper will provide an overview of experiential education, linking this to opportunities for implementation provided by legislation in education and labour.  Work placements do not simply ‘happen’.  The need for policies, procedures and guidelines, strong partnerships and preparation of both the student and the industry partner are promoted as a key to success of work integrated learning.  Various models of bringing industry and academia closer together are discussed.  Areas that need particular attention are highlighted and practical solutions are offered.The role of the Sector Education and Training Authorities is recognised. 

Education and Training for the Workplace, in the Workplace?  Work integrated learning is one answer.

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Rooksana Rajab, CEO, Resonance Institute of Learning (PTY) Ltd

Challenges experienced by unemployed youth (NEET group) with regard to work integrated learning (WIL) – a case studyChallenges experienced by unemployed youth (NEET group) with regard to work integrated learning (WIL) – a case study

South Africa has a high unemployment rate of more than 45% whilst at the same time there are unemployed school leavers and graduates. The question is then “where is the mismatch?” and “what needs to be done to correct the mismatch?” The presenter has interviewed a number of employers in the automotive industry and has found that learners are not sufficiently prepared for the world of work. There are also several challenges that have been highlighted specifically with regard to work integrated learning. The presentation will discuss each of these challenges.

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Prof Joy Papier, Institute for Post-School Studies, University of the Western Cape

Walking the Talk:  Differentiation and Articulation in the TVET College ContextWalking the Talk: Differentiation and Articulation in the TVET College Context

The Green/White Paper on Post-School Education and Training mentions aspires to among other goals ‘differentiation’ and ‘articulation’ in the TVET college sector. What would ‘differentiation’ look like in vocational colleges and what have our experiences of ‘articulation’ in this sector been?
As with the term ‘post-schooling’, concepts of differentiation and articulation are understood variously in local and international contexts. In this paper I examine how these concepts have been conceptualised and applied elsewhere, in an attempt to contribute towards a common understanding of what they might mean in post-schooling in South Africa.

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Michelle Buchler, Research Manager, Centre for Education Policy Development

A National RPL Strategy:  The ProposalsA National RPL Strategy: The Proposals

In January 2012, the Minister of Higher Education and Training established a task team to develop a national strategy for the wide-scale implementation of the Recognition of Prior Learning in the post-school education and training system. This paper will provide an overview of the task team’s Terms of Reference, the work undertaken by the task team and supporting researchers, its key recommendations and draft RPL implementation strategy proposals.








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Debby Evans, Business Relations Manager at the Midlands Community College – Centre for Further Education and Training

Midlands Community College : A unique  Second Chance  Opportunity to prepare  Grade 12 learners  for the rigours of tertiary studies in the fields of Maths, Science and Financial ServicesMidlands Community College : A unique Second Chance Opportunity to prepare Grade 12 learners for the rigours of tertiary studies in the fields of Maths, Science and Financial Services

The Midlands Community College is a rural, private, provisionally accredited FET College, with a long history of working with communities   wrestling with poverty and challenged by distance from centres offering continuing education and skills training. It is an NGO that relies wholly on donor funding for its existence. Our  courses and interventions support very young children, adults and  learners from under-resourced schools especially in the areas of Maths and Science education. Our projects range from training practitioners in Early Childhood Development, through computer literacy and e-learning support for primary school educators and learners ( CAMI Maths), to secondary school maths and science ( Mobile Lab, Holiday and Saturday Schools) and residential, post secondary opportunities that will enable young people with potential to access tertiary studies.  The paper showcases a small community college that responds flexibly and innovatively to expressed community needs, and explores the possibility of replication of this model in the context of the conference theme and our flagship `second chance’ upgrading programme for 90 Grade 12 learners each year. This is our Maths, Science, Technology (MST) ‘Recovery Project’ which has an excellent track record over 12 years, and a Maths, Accounting and English Project which will be launched in 2014 along the same lines. The aim is to improve the final results of at least 80% of the ninety students enrolled each year to gain access to tertiary studies in science, mathematics and finance-related fields. The factors facilitating the success and effectiveness of the model will be discussed, as well as the challenges facing post-school education and how we can, collectively, by strategically aligning our goals in this  education sector,  support a spectrum of critical educational needs in our surrounding communities that will significantly contribute to creating invaluable, accessible and affordable opportunities for school leavers to reach their full human and academic potential.

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Derrick Peo, Executive: Strategy and Research, merSETA

A sustainable, systemic and scalable artisan development strategy for South Africa – holy grail or achievable goalA sustainable, systemic and scalable artisan development strategy for South Africa – holy grail or achievable goal

This paper represents an early step in response to the request by the Minister of Higher Education and Training to spark a national dialogue and initiate a review process with the private sector, which is ultimately aimed at making a breakthrough in terms of national capacity for artisan development.

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Jenny Lamont, Content Manager: Classroom Resources Mindset Learn – A division of Mindset Network NPO

Strategies, Media and Methods for Large Numbers of Students: A Practical Example from Mindset NetworkStrategies, Media and Methods for Large Numbers of Students: A Practical Example from Mindset Network

South Africa must improve post schooling education and training to ensure competiveness and economic growth (Pillay, 2010; Cloete et all, 2011). The requisite quick shift to knowledge work and economic development will demand scaled up programmes, which will also create sustainable opportunities for the millions of youth ‘not in education, employment or training’. Open education resources (OERs) are one possible solution to provide the requisite massification, sustainability and cost efficiency for this sector (Altbach, Reisberg, and Rumbley, 2009). There are many curated OERs, already in use by those who can access them. They can be modified to reflect specific needs, but most are located in contexts that may not be suitable for local learning needs.

Mindset Network has chosen to develop and produce curriculum-based learning materials as OERs and to publish and disseminate them in a variety of ways. An example of a model used by Mindset Network in the senior secondary school level may be informative to the post schooling environment. Two related projects developed and produced learning resources for Information Technology and Computer Applications Technology. The IT materials were for 15 000 learners in approximately 400 locations and the CAT content was for 135 000 learners in about 1 250 schools. Using only two dedicated internal resources, with many contracted freelance subject matter experts, reviewers and media technicians the projects produced video, interactive multimedia, screencasts or online tutorials and print-based learning resources. Mindset uploaded these to its website and a dedicated YouTube channel, and distributed one electronic copy to each location to upload to intranets or servers.

Mindset used a number of explicit strategies to ensure suitability for the target market, offer elective options within modules and provide a means for teachers to brush up on selected sections. The projects demonstrated good cost-effectiveness on a per learner and per site cost basis, particularly in the higher volume project. 

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Jackie Caroll, CEO, Media Works

Maintaining effective teaching and learning in an evolving education environmentMaintaining effective teaching and learning in an evolving education environment

More than 4 million young South Africans between the age of 18 and 35 are unemployed and this number is growing. This understandably begs the question, why? The Department of Higher Education Green Paper on Post School Education and Training Green Paper attributes this to a lack of coherence and articulation in the post-school systems.
The profile of the AET learner has changed significantly.  Historically, your typical AET learner was a person in their late forties, early fifties, who had little to no formal schooling. Currently, the profile of a typical AET learner is a much younger adult that has been partially schooled, or even matriculated, but is totally ill equipped for the world of work or further training.
In order for teaching and learning to remain effective, it has to be relevant. Yes, traditional Adult Basic Education and training is all about ABET being identified as a critical priority in SA and playing a vital role in equipping adult learners with the necessary knowledge, skills and values in order to be functional in society. A person wishing to make a real contribution to the workforce, community and economy, needs to be able to access this economy. The current skills gap, lack of the necessary fundamental competence, prohibits people accessing further education and training, career development and employment opportunities.
The development of a programme to assist in bridging this skills gap at entry level, was essential for us at Media Works, to address the needs of our changing AET profile. It arose out of a need expressed by two of our clients. One is aimed at post matric, enabling people to be employed – the Harambee Project. The other is aimed at learners entering FETs, enabling learners to better cope with their further education – Working Literacies. These projects address the same challenge – cementing a solid foundation in the fundamentals. Building a bridge for the individuals, enabling them to better cope with their chosen path.
This paper addresses how this was done. The NEETS (those young people not in education, employment or training), are a serious threat to social stability. They are a highly dissatisfied and volatile group. If we are to support people wishing to make a real contribution to the workforce, community and economy, we have to maintain effective teaching and learning in an evolving education environment.  

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Vanessa Taylor, Project Manager, Swiss South African Cooperation Initiative

Providing workplace based experience (WBE) for NC(V) students as a formally assessed component of the curriculum through the ICASSProviding workplace based experience (WBE) for NC(V) students as a formally assessed component of the curriculum through the ICASS

“Doing theory is totally different from doing the practical, so having that experience and being exposed to that practical you gain self-confidence. You learn about how to handle situations and you actually feel you are working there - you are not just job shadowing you are working there. It was a wakeup call actually.” These are the words of a student who participated in SSACI’s workplace-based experience (WBE) ICASS (internal continuous assessment) Project.
On-course WBE for FET college students is increasingly being recognised as an essential component in adequately preparing them for the world of work in their field of training and opening doors to future employment. While the NC(V) allows for students to gain experience in real workplaces, this is currently not a formally specified component of the curriculum or required for students to graduate. Since 2008, SSACI has been pioneering informal and formal approaches to providing WBE as a part of NC(V) programmes in partnership with colleges and the DHET. This has involved the development of numerous programme-specific logbooks and task books for students to use during their WBE.
This paper describes SSACI’s WBE ICASS project and the lessons from it. This project developed an approach to delivering WBE as a formally assessed component of NC(V)business programmes though making this practical 2 of the ICASS. The basis of this practical is a task book which students complete during their WBE. To date, ‘ICASS-ready’ task books have been developed for level 4 business programmes and piloted in the Western Cape. They are now being rolled out as a national pilot under the auspices of the DHET. The success of the project and the demand for similar task books in other programmes has spurred SSACI to begin developing ICASS-ready WBE task books for a number of other programmes which will be piloted in 2014.

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Dr Anthony Gewer and Bina Akoobhai, JET Education Services

Quantity vs Quality: How do we achieve the balance in the FET College sector?Quantity vs Quality: How do we achieve the balance in the FET College sector?

Further Education and Training Colleges are in the midst of a critical and highly charged transition phase. Since its establishment in 2009, the Department of Higher Education and Training has driven a three-pronged strategy for college transformation, including:

  • Migration of colleges from the Provincial Departments of Education to the DHET as of 1st April 2013, in accordance with the FET Colleges Amendment Act (Act 3 of 2012).
  • Massive expansion of college enrolments towards the targets laid out in the Green Paper on Post-School Education and Training.
  • Phasing in a National Turnaround Strategy towards improving the functionality of colleges and thereby improve student performance.

The interface of these three activities, while necessary, has created additional pressure on an already fragile sector. The ultimate goal is to position the FET College sector more effectively as institutions of choice within the post-school education and training arena, and to enhance their role in the supply of skills for job creation.

The high levels of fragility in the FET College sector can be ascribed to the series of changes since the FET White Paper 4 in 1998. The manner in which college transformation has evolved since then has resulted in a number of missed opportunities for meaningful and sustainable change, and has created significant risks for the success of the current transition. This paper will analyse FET College transformation, exploring the underlying challenges within the current college context, and examining the implication thereof for the college expansion trajectory. The paper will indicate how the lessons that have been generated could be used to ensure that the DHET’s quest for college growth, transformation and industry alignment can succeed.

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Dr Senoelo Nkhase Leloka, Academic Director Productivity Management Institute - SA

Educating and up-skilling adult learners for high skill and knowledge based jobs in the employment sector Educating and up-skilling adult learners for high skill and knowledge based jobs in the employment sector

In line with the Green Paper’s attempt to address the issue of the lack of coherence between the post-school system and the labour market, this study makes a significant contribution toward addressing employment inherent inequalities resulting from the broadly acknowledged historical legacy as manifested in socio-economic status. The study describes a case study of an institution implementing the Career Pathways Model to curriculum design in educating and training full time employed postsecondary adult learners.

The Career Pathways Model acknowledges the globally observed pattern of education as an income differentiator, confirming that successful completion of college level education increases the chances of employment and access to better jobs with better pay, benefits and employment stability (Carnevale & Desrochers, 2004). Based on a tripartite design between adult education, postsecondary education, and workforce development the institution in this study ideally works closely with the workplace to develop and implement contextualised curriculum model carefully designed to develop productivity and employability skills relevant to the employment sector. The training is designed to advance skills and expertise of adult learners with limited education using advanced and college level programmes integrated with workplace applications to assist people to gain access into high-wage, high-growth levels in the different employment sectors.

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Carin Stoltz-Urban, Head: Professional Development and Education at Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply Africa (recognised Professional Body) and Chairperson: Independent Professional Body Forum of South Africa

The Role of Professional Bodies in the South African Education and Training SystemThe Role of Professional Bodies in the South African Education and Training System

The National Qualifications Framework Act, Act 67 of 2008, changed the landscape for professional bodies in the South African education and training system substantially by mandating the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) to recognise professional bodies and to register their designations on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).  This is a first in South Africa and in the world.

Based on an empirical study concluded in August 2013, this paper will look into the impact of the newly implemented NQF Act (Act 67 of 2008) on the functioning of professional bodies in the South African education and training system.  It will consider the traditional role of professional bodies as described by the literature and will compare that to the new role prescribed by SAQA.  It will comment on the possible unintended consequences of the change in policy and will express and opinion on the impact of the NQF Act on various key aspects of the functioning of professional bodies.

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Dr Adrienne Watson & Prof Volker Wedekind, School of Education, University of KwaZulu Natal

Towards developing an expanded model of employability and curriculum responsiveness in South African VET discourseTowards developing an expanded model of employability and curriculum responsiveness in South African VET discourse

This paper aims to reinvigorate the debates around employability and curriculum responsiveness by interrogating these constructs themselves, as well as the related notions of capability and competence.  Employability is reappropriated from the dominant demand- led corporate discourse and rearticulated as a complex assemblage of interacting capacities - both enabling and constraining - that focuses on the long term development, mobility and well-being of individual learners and work-seekers.  

Curriculum responsiveness is therefore similarly reframed as an orientation to education and training amongst a range of providers which positions the acquisition of competence as a holistic set of skills that ultimately empowers novices to become recognized as capable experts within occupation based communities of practice, thus enhancing their employment prospects.  Technicist and instrumentalist underpinnings of modularised training are critiqued.  Conversely, the value of cultural capital as a member of a profession or occupation, and the exercise of social capital in associated networks, are woven into the notion of capability as an aspect of competence. In sum, this paper attempts to develop a nuanced and differentiated understanding of these concepts and thus contribute to prevailing theoretical debates in VET in South Africa.


Although Dr Adrienne Watson has had to withdraw from the conference for circumstances beyond her control, has agreed to make her paper available to us.  It will be published as a SkillZBrief after the conference and available in the Premium Zone of the SkillZHub.  Conference delegates will be advised, after the conference about how they will be able to access the paper.

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