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Non-governmental organisation Equal Education (EE) has cautioned the matric class of 2017 that many will grapple with joblessness despite their qualifications.

A total of 634,527 full-time and 168,109 part-time candidates were registered to write the National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams in 2017.

“There are real benefits to completing matric, and providing quality basic education for all is pivotal as a sustainable solution to addressing unemployment,” it said.

“However, the difficult truth is that even the educationally privileged among the Class of 2017 will find the current post-school environment to be severely lacking in employment opportunities.”

Citing 2017 World Bank data, EE said that South Africa’s unemployment rate has been rising over the last nine years, and is now at 27.7% – higher than countries with similar gross domestic product (GDP) per capita including Botswana at 18.1%, Namibia at 22.3%, Gabon at 18.5% and Algeria at 11.7%.

Youths bear the brunt of unemployment, it said, with the unemployment rate for people aged 15 to 34 year at 38.6% according to the Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) for the third quarter of 2017.

“While low quality basic education and incomplete education leave young people without the suitable skills, higher education graduates are not immune to the effects of low economic growth. The graduate unemployment rate was at 7.3% in the first quarter of 2017.”

“Thus, although a tertiary qualification lessens an individual’s chances of being unemployed, it is not a guaranteed gateway to employment, especially if without workplace experience,” it said.

Youths not in Employment, Education or Training (NEETs)

According to StatsSA, in the third quarter of 2017, 30% of South Africa’s 10.3 million youths aged 15 to 24, were not in employment, education or training (NEET).

“This untapped potential is a national tragedy. The number of youths who are neither learning nor engaged in income-generating activities has risen since 1996, from 2 million,” said EE.

“South Africa is very likely to fail to substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training by 2020 – a target of the Sustainable Development Goals.”

According to the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), the largest proportion of NEETs aged 15 to 24 are those who exited high school without completing matric, and those who did matriculate but did not attain a diploma or degree. One million of these individuals are new entrants to the labour market but unemployed, and nearly 700,000 are discouraged work-seekers according to 2016 data.

“These youths are unable to improve their employment prospects because they are not gaining skills or work experience. Worse, remaining unemployed for extended periods of time signals low potential productivity to employers, further reducing the likelihood of finding employment,” EE said.

“They are financially dependent on other household members – the old-age pension (grant) in particular has been found to support job-seeking activities for young people.”
The minister of Higher Education published a proposal to change the Skills Development Act, comments due before the 31st of January 2018.

Some highlights of these amendments propose to:

The good:
1.   Remove SETA regional offices and create one central sharing system/office to be more effective.
2.   Sharing of resources, such as IT and HR.
3.   SETAs to use one central shared database for all related tasks.
4.   Reduce the SETA income from 10.5% to 10%.
5.   Include Scarce and Critical Skills in the Discretionary criteria. (Whoop Whoop for employers.)
6.   Replacement of the WSP/ATR in a more convenient reporting structure.

The bad:
1.   Keep Mandatory grants at 20%
2.   Keep Discretionary grants at 49.5%

Everyone can comment, either in their personal or business capacity. EACH RESPONSE HELP!

We prepared a brief document in the middle of the holidays and on short notice to help explain some of these proposals. We also prepared a word template that can be used/edited with your own comments to the minister before the 31st of January 2018. The views and comments on these documents are of our own and we welcome any other input and feedback on this topic.
The QCTO Code of Conduct for Development Quality Partners (DQP) and
Assessment Quality Partners (AQP)

We, the undersigned, wish to be appointed by the QCTO as a DQP/AQP. We agree that, if the QCTO delegates such functions to us, we hereby commit ourselves to abide by the QCTO’s Code of Conduct in relation to all our work. The Code of Conduct to which we agree is as follows:

i.   promoting the objectives of the NQF;

ii.   dealing   fairly,   professionally   and   equitably   with   stakeholders   whilst accelerating the redress of past unfair discrimination;

iii.   consulting  with  all  relevant  stakeholders  that  have  an  interest  in  the development and assessment of occupational qualifications and sharing of best practice;

iv.     executing our responsibilities  and  accountabilities  timeously and  with  due regard to the accountability to our constituents  that we are committed to serve;

v.   seeking at all times to create a positive environment for the development and assessment process and respect the historical diversity of learners’ cultural, linguistic and educational backgrounds;

vi.    declaring any conflict of interest that may infringe on the execution of our delegated responsibilities;

vii.    recuse ourselves from any decision-making process which may result in improper personal gain that will impact negatively on the values cherished by the QCTO;

viii.     recognising the public’s rights of access to information, excluding information that is specifically protected by the law;

ix.    acting in a manner that will respect, promote and protect the goodwill and reputation of occupational qualification family;

x.   reporting all relevant information about best practices and irregularities in the development and assessment process of which we become aware.
QCTO / Quality assurance and monitoring the implementation of AQP functions
« Last post by ETQA Administrator on December 08, 2017, 07:02:36 PM »
12.1   On appointment the AQP signs a SLA with the QCTO. This provides a schedule for implementation of the QCTO model for external assessment, giving deadlines for each requirement during the first year of appointment. This schedule provides the basis for the QCTO to monitor, evaluate and review the initial activities of the AQP.
12.2   In addition, the QCTO has a standardised data reporting template which must be completed and submitted annually. This provides specified quantitative data to the QCTO. 12.3 The following information will be submitted quarterly to   meet   the   QCTO   internal   auditor’s   requirements:   number   of   skills development providers and assessment centres accredited; number of learners that sat for external integrated summative assessment; number of learner certificates recommended to the QCTO.
12.4   Each year after the first year of appointment the AQP must also complete and submit a qualitative report, which serves the dual purpose of a self-evaluation, assisting in strategic planning for the coming year, and of providing the QCTO with the basis for continued monitoring, evaluation and review.
12.5   During  the  fourth  year  an  in-depth  quality  audit  will  be  conducted  in preparation for the decision whether or not to extend the appointment of the AQP after the five year term has been completed.
QCTO / What will AQPs report on
« Last post by ETQA Administrator on December 08, 2017, 07:02:07 PM »
The AQPs will report to the QCTO on the following:
i.   Assessment centre accreditation /de-accreditation and assessment site approval/de-approval;
ii.   Assessment instruments utilisation and performance analysis;
iii.   Skills Development Provider (SDP) accreditation and extension of scope recommendations ;
iv.   Learner Enrolments and Achievements;
v.   External Assessment moderation and management;
vi.   Learner Certification recommendations;
vii.   Assessment practitioner management practices;
viii.   Learner tracer studies and employer satisfaction surveys;
Step 1:   Expression of the intention to become an AQP

i.   The proposed (applicant) AQP will send a letter of intent to become the
ii.   The QCTO will acknowledge receipt, capture and record the submission details in the QCTO database;
iii.   QCTO or applicant may request for a meeting to:
a)   discuss the scope of the qualifications to be assessed by the AQP;
b)   discuss the project timelines to be developed;
c)   discuss any questions the applicant may have in relation to the SLA
that will be signed if compliant;
iv.   The details of the applicant will be captured and recorded in the QCTO

Step  2:   Submission and the evaluation of the applicant’s evidence

The applicant:
i.   Will submit evidence of compliance with stipulated criteria;
ii.   Make sure that a QCTO official has signed for the delivery;

The QCTO will:
i.   Capture the details of the applicant in the relevant QCTO format;
ii.   Acknowledge receipt of the evidence;
iii.   Conduct the desktop evaluation of the evidence;
iv.   Will support the applicant to comply where necessary;
v.   Recommend for the signing of the SLA.

Step 3: Notification of the outcome and signing of the SLA

The  QCTO will:
i.   Notify the applicant of the outcome; and ii.   Arrange a signing ceremony.

10.   Termination of appointment of assessment quality partner

10.1 The QCTO may, terminate the appointment of an assessment quality partner on the grounds that the AQP :
i.   No longer satisfies the criteria for accreditation;
ii.   Has failed or refused to fulfil its functions;
iii.   Has failed or refused to comply with the relevant policies, criteria and procedures of the QCTO

10.2 Before the QCTO withdraws the appointment of an AQP the QCTO will:
i.   Notify, in writing, the  AQP of its intention to withdraw the accreditation, with reasons;
ii.   Grant the AQP a period of 20 working days from the date of notice to make representations on the matter; and
iii.   Consider any such representations received.

10.3  If the QCTO withdraws appointment of an AQP, the QCTO will notify the assessment partner of its decision in writing.
QCTO / Criteria for the approval of an Assessment Quality Partner
« Last post by ETQA Administrator on December 08, 2017, 06:56:57 PM »
The QCTO will appoint an entity as an assessment quality partner only if it is satisfied that the entity has:

i.   The necessary expertise, experience and standing in relation to the occupational qualifications or foundational learning for which the assessment quality partner is appointed; and
ii.   the resources necessary to perform its functions

In terms of clause of the QCTO Delegation Policy, 22 June 2011 the criteria have been defined in detail as follows:

i.   be  recommended  to  the  QCTO  by  the  relevant   DQP  during  the occupational   development  process at a point  when they submit  an
occupational profile. Possible evidence: letter of recommendation from the DQP; Attendance register; DQP progress report with endorsement of the selected body by constituency to ensure trust and acceptance; extracts from minutes of scoping meeting where the decision took place;
ii.      have access to communities of expert practitioners in the occupation/s concerned;    Possible evidence: Attendance registers; reference to extracts from websites with links to CEPs or any other relevant information such as an indication as to where the AQP will source expertise to design assessments;
iii.   have standing in the occupation or occupations concerned; Possible evidence: cross reference to websites, publications and any other relevant information;
iv.   have access to assessors and other human resources necessary to perform the AQP functions using criteria and guidelines provided by the QCTO. Possible evidence: Database of assessors
v.   have access to a reliable management information system in the format required by the   QCTO; Possible evidence: Organogram or reference to an organisation to whom this function has been outsourced;
vi.   have the financial resources necessary to establish the AQP function and implement effective, efficient and transparent financial management and internal control systems, verified by means of a written commitment by its relevant authority; Possible evidence: evidence that the functions have been catered for in the organisation budget; a letter from the AQP’s relevant authority committing the necessary financial resources to fund the AQP;
vii.    have a proposed fee structure funding model to maintain the delivery of AQP services for    a minimum of five years aligned to the QCTO Fee Structure Policy;
viii.    be willing to sign the QCTO Code of Conduct (Schedule 4) if delegation is approved;
ix.   have  research  capacity  even  if  through  a  third  party  arrangement;
Possible evidence:   cross reference to reports or process of how this criterion will be addressed; and
x.   Proof  that  the  organisation  is  a  juristic  person:  Possible  evidence:
submit a valid tax clearance certificate where appropriate.

Proof must be submitted to demonstrate adherence with the criteria mentioned above.

QCTO / Which bodies could become national Assessment Quality Partners
« Last post by ETQA Administrator on December 08, 2017, 06:51:13 PM »
The need to establish an AQP arises from the development of an occupational qualification. A body that has the necessary credibility in the relevant constituency (industry/sector/profession) must be identified to manage External Integrated Summative Assessment by conducting the AQP functions listed above. Depending on their current functions and areas of expertise any of the following existing bodies may  be  appointed  as  Assessment  Quality  Partners  for  specific  occupations  or groups of occupations:

i.   Moderating Bodies ii.   Examining Bodies
iii.   Professional Bodies iv.   Legislated Boards
v.   Occupational Associations

Note: If there are no such bodies with a specific interest in the relevant occupation, a
SETA or industry body may also fulfil this role, but not a provider.
QCTO / The functions of an Assessment Quality Partner - AQP
« Last post by ETQA Administrator on December 08, 2017, 06:41:10 PM »
1.   An Assessment Quality Partner must, in respect of the qualifications and part qualifications specified in the Service Level Agreement;

i.   recommend   the   external   assessment   specifications   document   for approval by the QCTO;
ii.   develop and maintain a national data-bank of instruments for external assessments;
iii.   publish exemplars of external assessments;
iv.      recommend  to  the  QCTO  the accreditation and  withdrawal  of accreditation of skills development providers for the knowledge and/or practical skills component using criteria and guidelines provided by the QCTO;
v.   register assessors and moderators for the external assessments;
vi.       develop  criteria  for  the  accreditation  of  assessment  centres  or  the approval of assessment sites for external assessments;
vii.      recommend  to  the  QCTO  the accreditation and  withdrawal  of accreditation of assessment centres; and
viii.      recommend  to  the  QCTO  the accreditation and  withdrawal  of accreditation of skills development providers for the knowledge and/or practical skills component using criteria and guidelines provided by the QCTO.

2.   Coordinate and manage external assessment processes;
3.   Record and upload learner external assessment applications and achievements to the QCTO;
4.   Moderate at least 10% of learner external assessments;
5.   Recommend the certification of learners to the QCTO;
6.   Implement an appeals policy as guided by an assessment policy;
7.   Conduct learner tracer studies;
8.   Promote continuous professional development of AQP associated practitioners;
9.   Report to the QCTO on the performance of its functions in the form and manner required by the QCTO; and
10.   Provide a mechanism for RPL.

QCTO / What are Qualification Assessment Specifications (QAS)
« Last post by ETQA Administrator on December 08, 2017, 06:19:53 PM »
The AQP will set the national standards to ensure validity and consistency of the external   summative   assessment.  The   QAS  form   an   integral   part   of   every occupational qualification and are developed for each occupational qualification and outline and record the following information:

i.   Title of occupational qualification;
ii.     Curriculum reference number;
iii.     Name and details of the AQP;
iv.     External assessment strategy;
v.     Key occupational outcomes;
vi.   The point(s) at which the qualification must be assessed (allowing for production cycle if required);
vii.   Critical  identified  elements  of  ‘internal  assessment’  to  be  externally
moderated (if any);
viii.   Eligibility requirements for candidates for external assessment;
ix.   Exemptions;
x.   Minimum requirements for the registration of assessors;
xi.   Provide links to the AQP website for information on:
-   Criteria for accreditation of assessment centres
-   Exemplars of external assessment instruments
-   Relevant sections of AQP assessment policy and procedures: those required for public information, including language(s) of assessment and RPL;

The Qualification Assessment Specifications are developed during the qualification development process and it is expected that a minimum of 50% of the working group members should be experts in that particular occupational qualification.
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