By Jane Mosala, SAMRA Membership Administrator
The Services SETA held a Stakeholder Engagement Workshop on 20 November, 2017. More than 350 stakeholders attended the workshop held at the Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg. The purpose of this workshop was to engage stakeholders in a conversation regarding new announcements that the SETA had to make.
The current CEO (Andile Nongogo) started by addressing some issues that that SETA has been working to amend, the most important being responsiveness. The Services SETA admitted that they haven’t been entirely responsive and communicative and highlighted that they are taking steps to remedy this:
- They will be calling staff members at random times of the day to ensure that the phone lines are indeed functioning properly and that the staff members are at their desks during working hours.
- The Services SETA has created a form available on their website where stakeholders can submit a complaint against a person who is unresponsive.
- In terms of accreditation taking too long and stakeholders being given the run-around when it comes to establishing who should be helping them deal with their case, the CEO stated that they are trying their best to improve on this and increase the speed at which accreditation is achieved. They encouraged everyone who has been given the run-around to report all instances immediately. Regarding materials for accreditation, the SETA has made available 25 batches of accreditation material for use by people in the industry, free of charge.
The SETA indicated that the primary function of the stakeholders is training and not stipend management. Because of this, they have decided to take on the responsibility of stipend management. The stipends will be managed by a card system which has been developed alongside FNB. The learners will receive a card branded with the Services SETA logo to which their stipends will be directly deposited. The card is also equipped with benefits such as the first three swipes being free of charge.
Still on the topic of learners, some stakeholders have identified attendance issues during training. The solution to this highlighted by the SETA is to introduce a system of biometrics such as fingerprint capturing. They will also be making use of technology such as Google maps to confirm places of business and home addresses. In addition to this, they will be developing a remote monitoring system for monitoring of training. This system will also require learners to log in 3 times a day at three different times of the day to ensure that they are not just clocking in in the morning then leaving the training to only come back the next morning to clock in again.
The Services SETA recognises that it is difficult to manage everything on paper and is making an attempt to digitise as much as possible. The first step towards this digital solution will be to give all new students a fully functioning tablet upon successful registration.
The SETA advised that in a previous meeting, the Board approved:
- Better incentives for their staff in order to motivate them to perform more effectively.
- The implementation of an Entrepreneurship school to better equip the learners for life after training.
- The procurement of property so that the SETA can expand without the use of rentals which have become quite costly.
A questions and answers session was held after the presentation. Many of the stakeholders required information on the inner workings of all announcements made and a few took the opportunity to complain about issues that remain unresolved by the SETA. The chairman took the time to answer the bulk of the questions and as time ran out, delegates were advised to submit any other questions in writing and that they would be attended to. The SETA informed us that the Board is dedicated to making the Services SETA function as effectively as possible and will take all criticisms and comments seriously.