The Education, Training and Development Practices Sector Education and Training Authority (ETDP SETA) was established in March 2000 following the promulgation of the Skills Development Act, Act 97 of 1998 (as amended), and was re-established in April 2010. One of its mandates is to implement learning programmes including Learnerships, Apprenticeships, Skills Programmes and any other prescribed learning programmes which includes a structured work experience component.
As part of the ETDP SETA's strategic plan and in its commitment to respond to the skills needs of its constituencies, the ETDP SETA is implementing the Learnerships outlined below in all provinces.
Learnerships are one of the integrated skills development interventions aimed at promoting growth in employment and capacity building across sectors to address scarce and critical skills shortages in South Africa. It is a mode of delivering a learning programme that combines work-based experience with structured learning. It is one of the means of acquiring a qualification. A learner who completes a Learnership will be able to demonstrate the practical application of competencies (skills, knowledge, values and attitudes) in an employment context. The Learnership qualification components consist of:
Fundamentals: Basic educational requirements to take part in a learnership – usually life skills, numeracy and literacy competencies and communication skills
Core: The mainframe of the learning programme (what the qualification is to be based on) – the core skills and knowledge required
Electives: The specialised areas, or the application of the core skills and knowledge in defined work situations.
The ETDP SETA is currently implementing the following Learnerships:
1. Further Education and Training Certificate (FETC) in ECD NQF Level 4;
2. National Diploma in ECD Practice NQF Level 5;
3. Development Practice NQF Level 5;
4. Youth Development Practice NQF Level 5 and
5. National Diploma in Environment Studies NQF Level 5.
The Early Childhood Development (ECD) Learnerships
Early Childhood Development (ECD) is the first and essential step that children need to enable them to succeed in their schooling years. It is a priority area in South Africa in order to improve the quality of basic education and learner achievement. This priory is supported by legislation, national policies and strategies. Consequently, the ETDP SETA places a huge emphasis on ECD programmes to help improve children's capacity to develop and learn for better long term prospects. In order to meet ECD needs, the ETDP SETA is implementing the FETC in ECD Practice NQF Level 4 and the Diploma in ECD Practice NQF 5 for practitioners in all nine provinces. The ECD NQF Level 5, a two-year programme with 240 credits is aimed not only at increasing employment prospects for the unemployed but also at producing suitably qualified ECD practitioners with a recognised qualification.
The Development Practice Learnerships
The Development Practice Learnership is a critical access Learnership in the ETD field. Practitioners with this qualification are able to provide professional support directly to individuals and communities, thus empowering such individuals and communities to achieve specific outcomes. The qualification also enables practitioners to provide short learning programmes to community groups and to assist in assessing the community groups' learning or development. The Learnership is directed at both adults and youth (employed and unemployed) with sufficient experience in general community development work and the development practice field, especially those employed as auxiliary social workers, community development workers, youth workers and NGO and CBO field activists. It is implemented in all provinces.
The Youth Development Practice Learnership
The Development Practice is closely linked with the Youth Development Practice NQF Level 5, which target young people to become youth work practitioners. It enables practitioners to facilitate enabling processes for youth development work within public and private contexts. It also empowers young people with skills to work with communities in implementing community based projects. Youth development work is a proactive social mechanism for managing change in the economy and society.
The National Diploma in Environment Studies Learnership
This National Diploma in Environment Studies NQF Level 5 Learnership will prepare learners to function independently as entry-level environmental education practitioners. It will apply in particular to unqualified environmental education practitioners working in environmental education centres (e.g. volunteers, interns and part-time guides), and to people employed primarily in fields other than education, but who may develop an environmental education role in the workplace, e.g. field rangers, outreach officers, interpretative officers.
The learners qualified at this level will make a meaningful contribution to environmental change through an educational response to environmental issues and risks in a range of contexts and workplaces. They may also be able to function as teachers` aides or environmental education specialists in formal education settings like schools.