The deadline for comments on the Proposal for the National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS) and the SETA Landscape (NSLP 2015) has been extended to 29 February 2016. The gazetted proposal involves changes to the role and function of SETAs, and the skills levy distribution model. It recommends that the current sector specific skills funding model be changed to a centralised cross-sectoral funding mechanism, and that ‘the language of occupations’ be the accepted terminology for both workplaces and learning institutions, instead of workplace specific job descriptions and qualifications. With the occupation (and hence the OFO) becoming a central construct, it is therefore proposed that national Occupational Teams be established for all occupations in demand (be they identified sectorally or nationally) and that employer and worker representatives on these teams be identified and drawn from each of the sectors where the occupation is employed.

The core functions of occupational teams will be to: • Determine why there is a skills shortage or challenge; • Analyse the problem and determine its basic causes; • Propose solutions at each step along the learning pathway i.e. for theory, practical, workplace and/or assessment this will include sectoral specialisation where necessary; • Provide quality assurance functions where required (e.g. assessment of capacity of providers to deliver required qualification and remedial steps needed, if inadequate); and • Prepare reports to feed into mainstream planning and resourcing.

It is proposed that the DHET build these Occupational Teams in partnership with the new Sector Education and Training Advisory Boards (SETABs) and the established organisational associations such as the Higher Education South Africa (HESA) and the South African College Principals Organisation (SACPO).

What are your thoughts on the proposed new SETA landscape, and NSDS IV? Start a discussion group on or contact Thomas Mathiba or Pandelani Dzhugudzha if you wish to make a formal submission to DHET via the National Skills Planning Forum.