Banking Sector Education and Training Authority
The South African BANKSETA will not be changing its role when some other sector education and training authorities (SETAs) undergo quite radical changes in March 2011. Instead the BANKSETA will continue to operate just as it has since it was established in principle in 1998 and launched in March 2000.
Scope of coverage
The banking sectors scope of education and training coverage was approved by Government in 2000 and still includes:
- central banking
- commercial banking, discount houses and all other forms of banking
- building societies (even though these don’t exist in the original form known in South Africa)
- financial mediation
- activities that are ancillary to financial mediation
- lease financing (which all the banks now handle)
- securities dealings
Functions of the BANKSETA
Within its specific terms of reference, the BANKSETA was required to develop a sector skills plan that would work within the framework of the national skills development strategy that was set at that time for this particular SETA.
Clearly the BANKSETA has managed to successfully implement the skills sector plan within the parameters set by Government, which were to implement the skills sector plans and promote learnerships by:
- approving workshop skills plans
- establishing learnerships
- allocating discretionary grants that would be given to employers
- assisting providers and employees with education and training
- monitoring this education and training
- identifying workplaces that could be used for a practical workplace experience
- supporting the development of learning materials
- improving the facilitation of learning and the learning experience
- assisting in setting up successful learnership agreements and registering these
The banking sector had some other very specific functions relating to the disbursement of skills development levies and the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) Act, which has been a difficult for many of the other sectors to implement in a practical manner. This sector was also responsible for liaising with the National Skills Authority and other SETA bodies on both the national skills development strategy and policy, as well as on its own sector skills plan – which clearly it has done quite successfully.
The BANKSETA has also had to report to the Director-General regarding implementation of its own sector skills plan as well as its income and expenditure and liaise with the Department of Labour’s employment services with a view to improving the quality of information available in terms of the educational laws in South Africa. This is clearly something that is incredibly important to inexperienced learners. Not only should this assist learners in terms of knowing where to find the relevant education and training providers – some of whom offer a short course and others who offer online courses and even college courses – but also to help them to find realistic and sustainable employment opportunities.
As a responsible and well established sector, the BANKSETA has also had to appoint the relevant office bearers and staff who are necessary to be able to fulfil all these obligations and functions. Plus they have had to facilitate the involvement of the right Government departments who are able to assist in the SETA achieving its goals.
Implications of legislation that applies to the BANKSETA
The banking sector is carefully controlled by legislation and so it is vital that the BANKSETA trains all learners not only in terms of the legislation, but also passes on the required knowledge for them to be able to achieve their goals in the long term.
However, when the Government considered the BANKSETA in relation to the relevant legislation, it was more concerned with this SETA relating to the “purposes” of the Act. In effect this is what will ensure that learners and newly qualified students accessing the job market will, quite simply, find it easier to get jobs. To this aim, the Government states categorically that the BANKSETA must aim to:
- develop the skills of all South Africans aiming to join the workforce
- increase levels of investment in both education and training as it relates to the banking sector
- encourage employers to take on new staff
- create a workplace experience that will be an active learning environment
- provide employees with the opportunity to acquire new skills
- provide opportunities for inexperienced people to get work experience
- employ people who are finding it difficult to find work
- encourage employees to get additional qualifications and training
- improve the prospects of previous disadvantaged people
- focus on the quality of education and training in the workplace and make sure it is adequate
- help unemployed people find work
- help retrenched workers re-enter the workplace
- provide and regulate employment services
Where to find the BANKSETA
The Banking Sector Education Training Authority is based in Vorna Valley, Johannesburg.
- Telephone: (011) 805 9661
- Fax: (011) 805 8348
- Information website