SETA is the acronym for Sector Education and Training Authority. These are industry bodies established under the Skills Development Act (RSA, 1998c). The purpose of the SETA’s is to ensure that the skill needs for every sector of the South African economy are identified and that training is available to provide for these needs. Twenty three SETA’s cover all economic sectors in South Africa. The members and stakeholders of a SETA include employers, training providers, trade unions, government departments and bargaining councils from each sector.
SETAs make grants to cover the cost of learnerships, learning programmes, etc to companies. To do this, they draw on the Skills Levy contributions from their sector, following stringent procedures designed to ensure that the learning matches the principles of the National Qualifications Authority (NQF).
The Skills Development Act established the Skills Levy system to generate funds to be used to develop the skills that are urgently needed in the different sectors of the economy. Every employer contributes 1% of total payroll to the Skills Levy and about 80% of
the levies are transferred to the SETAs to be used for skills development. About 20% of the levy contributions are transferred to the National Skills Fund, which is used for national skills priorities such as the training of unemployed learners.
The SETAs disburse most of the money received from the Skills levy in the form of grants to the employers within their sectors, to be used for skills development activities such as developing and implementing their Workplace Skills Plans, LSs and SPs. SETAs also use some of this money for other activities aimed at improving the skills levels within their sectors, such as conducting needs analyses on skills priorities and developing systems to promote the quality of learning in the sectors.
Benefits of SETA accredited training
SETA accredited training entails skills development training that is approved by the various SETAS for each of the industries. A course provider needs to fulfil the standard requirements of a particular SETA to qualify for the right to provide SETA accredited training. Once the attendee has completed the SETA accredited training they will obtain a qualification that is recognized throughout the nine provinces of South Africa by the SETA of a particular industry. Employers in that industry will thus also recognize the qualification obtained through the SETA accredited training. The main benefit for the companies is that they know a certain standard has been set and adhered to by the course provider. The attendee has the benefit of knowing that their qualification will be recognized throughout South Africa.