Health Sector Education and Training Authority
The Health and Welfare Sector Education and Training Authority (HWSETA) was one of the original 23 SETAs established by law in South Africa in 1998, and it has, like all the rest, been operating for the past ten years.
But the SETA landscape is about to change, and when the changes coming into effect in March 2011, the welfare responsibility of this SETA will be transferred to a totally new Social Security and Development SETA. This existing SETA will become the Health Sector Education and Training Authority (or SETA)
Originally established to facilitate the development of skills in both the health and social development sector, the Health SETA will clearly now focus on skills development in the health sector specifically. The SETA will therefore ensure that the skills needs of the health sector only are identified and addressed through a number of existing and new initiatives that the SETA and those operating in the sector will be responsible for.
The vision, mission and philosophy of the original HWSETA
The declared vision of the original HWSETA was to create a skilled workforce that would meet the health and social development (in other words health and welfare) needs of all the people living in South Africa.
The stated mission of the HWSETA was to create and implement an “integrated approach” that would facilitate the provision and development of a workforce that was appropriately skilled. The SETA, in its mission statement identified the need of the workforce to be adequately empowered to proved (or render) quality health and social development services that were of a world standard.
The general philosophy of the HWSETA was (and currently still is) to aim to give a better life to all in South Africa by what it terms “people development”.
The current objectives of the HWSETA
The primary function of every SETA established in South Africa is to raise skills and provide skills to all people wanting to be employed within the various sectors. The general structure that has been set up to enable the SETAs to fulfil this function is embodied in the National Skills Development Strategy that was established by the National Skills Act of 1998.
Each SETA was – and still is – expected to develop a Sector Skills Plan (for its particular sector) that would achieve a number of goals. These goals include:
- establishing learnerships,
- identifying and approving workplaces suitable for the appropriate workplace experience,
- allocating discretionary grants from levies raised within the industry sector they represent,
- allocating bursaries to qualifying learners,
- facilitating learning,
- assisting with the development of learning materials, and
- becoming accredited by SAQA (the South African Qualifications Authority) to be able to in turn accredit education and training facilities.
The accreditation issue is an important one to ensure that training and skills standards are consistent throughout the country, and appropriate for each sector. Learners then know that if they choose for example an accredited short course or accredited college courses, even accredited online courses, that they are going to be taught within the accepted qualifications framework. This is turn gives them a lot more security in terms not only of training opportunities, but also of employment.
The HWSETA, however, established its own specific set of objectives, based on the general needs of their specific Sector Skills Plan. These were to:
- develop a culture of high quality life-long learning,
- foster the development of skills in the formal economy for productivity and employment growth,
- promote opportunities for skills development through social development initiatives,
- assist new entrants to get employment in the labour market,
- enhance quality in education and training within the sector of health and welfare,
- ensure the relevant learning standards and qualifications are available in this sector,
- ensure that access to knowledge and skills are improved for everyone in the sector especially the SMMEs (small, medium and micro enterprises),
- develop meaningful systems and mechanisms for the recognition of prior learning,
- implement a quality management system,
- establish good relations with all stakeholders in the health and welfare sector, and
- create a database that meets the requirements of both the SAQA and the Department of Labour.
Where to find the Health SETA
The Health SETA is currently situated in Bedfordview, Johannesburg in Gauteng. It is currently still operating as the Health and Welfare SETA (HWSETA).
Telephone: (011) 607 6900
Fax: (011) 616-8939