The new NSDS III strategy

June 2011 News

Terry Scallan discusses the new skills development strategy.

I have recently received quite a few questions on what is the new NSDS III strategy. This strategy will, as in other industries, affect the private security industry in South Africa. This will be my first article of two that will hopefully explain this skills development strategy.

NSDS means National Skills Development Strategy and the III is the third of these strategies to be implemented by government and replaces the previous ones. It is also the first strategy to be implemented since the Department of Higher Education which took over Skills Development from the Department of Labour.

The NSDS 111 strategy was implemented as of 1 April 2011 and will be the government’s major skills development strategy for the next five years. It will be implemented throughout the 21 Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAS) and is aimed at introducing a new phase to these SETAS, whereby their scope and mandate is to be investigated, and to assist them in improving their functions and performance.

The strategy is an all-encompassing guide for skills development in South Africa and will provide direction to sector skills planning and the implementation on SETA level. It is aimed at creating a skilled and capable workforce that will be able to contribute to the economic growth of South Africa. It further will strive to increase access to high quality and relevant education, and training, and enable all citizens to participate in the economy, and in society as a whole. The purpose then of the NSDS 111 strategy is as follows:

* To improve the effectiveness and the efficiency of skills development.

* To create an easier path from school to college or university.

* To evaluate and address blockages in the skills development system.

* To increase the number of artisans in the various industries (in the security industry we can relate this to alarm, CCTV, access control and gate automation technicians), and

* To be of assistance to those people who lack basic numeracy and literacy skills as well as technical skills, and to enable such people to acquire these skills.

The strategy goes on to promote partnerships between employers, further education and training colleges, universities, private training providers and SETAS. It will include certain transformational priorities such as race, class, gender, geographical considerations, age differences and HIV/AIDS. In this the SETAS will have to deliver a service that will address employer demands and deliver the necessary results.

Key institutions such as the National Skills Fund and the National Science Foundation will ensure the success of NSDS III in meeting the challenge of skills development in South Africa.

In my next article I will conclude with the goals of the NSDS III strategy as well as the underlying principles.

For more information contact Terry Scallan, +27 (0)72 231 4557.

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