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How COVID-19 has affected skills development in South Africa

Article provided by SDC

Amidst a myriad of change happening across the world at government and socio-economic levels, SDC (Skills Development Corporation) share their views on how these changes have affected the Skills Development sector in South Africa.

“Nothing has changed from a government legislation perspective,” says Mikaela Robertson, Key Accounts Manager for SDC. “Business BEE scorecard requirements remain the same. One slight change however, is per the National Minimum Wage Act (amended in February this year), remuneration processes for clients who reabsorb learners has been affected slightly.”

This is good news for business as, despite the Skills Development Levy holiday granted by government during COVID-19, companies will still be audited for those months and rated from an expenditure perspective when processing the BEE scorecard submission.

Where the effects of COVID-19 have been slightly trickier, is for the learners’ practical elements of the learnership programme,” says Melissa van Aswegan, Operations – ETQA Manager for SDC. “70% of our programme is based on practical, in-situ learning and with limited spaces governed by social distancing, this has had an impact.”

‘It is often during the most challenging times where there is the greatest opportunity to redefine yourself’ – Shilagh Mirgain

Although there has been no news from SETA how they plan to implement and host the physical part of learnership programmes, SDC has already set wheels in motion to be able to facilitate as much of the practical applications within their stable of skills development divisions that have been designed to future-proof the South African youth.

“At this stage we have placed some learners in our fully-functional call centre and we facilitate practical learnerships across the SDC Wealth side of the business that operates as an independent financial services business,” says Melissa.

SDC  believe that more pressure will be put on businesses to facilitate on-site practical learning locations, so finding a partner that has or is already taking significant steps in setting these plans in motion, will be how they lead the charge in the evolution of a post COVID-19 learnership environment.

For more information on SDC, their learnership programmes that meet post-COVID-19 requirements, or to conduct a skills development audit, get in touch via the SDC website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn pages.

SDC is a proud Partner of the NSBC