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Master Skills Plan in the Pipeline

March 9, 2022

Department of Higher Education, Science and Innovation

A Master Skills Plan is being crafted.

The higher education, science and innovation minister, Dr Blade Nzimande, highlighted this during a media briefing on outcomes of engagements with the sector education and training authorities (SETA).

The media briefing focused on learning and training opportunities provided via SETAs as well as skills development interventions in the drive to fight unemployment, inequality and poverty.

According to the minister, the process to draw up the Master Skills Plan will “promote a more efficient and effective mechanism for country-wide skills planning”.

“The master skills plan will draw on the information available in existing plans, such as the National Skills Development Plan, Human Resource Development Strategy, Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, ERRP Skills Strategy, National Plan for Post School Education and Training, SETA Skills Sector Skills Plan, Master Economic Sector Plans, and National, Provincial and Local Government Skills Plans”, he said.

SETAs will also support the science and innovation department in the development of critical high-end skills in selected technology areas such as the bio economy, space science, technology energy, intellectual property management, etc.

Support will also be directed towards “technical development and the artisan skills that would contribute to the commercial exploitation and social beneficiation of newly developed innovations”.

As regards fighting maladministration and corruption in the post school education and training sector, the minister pointed out that a forensic company has been appointed to conduct a full-scale forensic investigation into the financial affairs of the National Skills Fund (NSF) following the Auditor-General of South Africa report that found that “much of a total amount of just under R5 billion could not be properly accounted for over two financial years by the NSF”.

The minister also indicated that a Ministerial Task Team has been set up to “conduct a strategic review of the NSF, the general operations of the NSF, its efficiency and relevance with regards to the national skills priorities of the country”.

“The review includes the mandate, policy scope and analysis of NSF capacity, systems, and organisational modelling in relation to its mandate as a Schedule 3A skills levy entity”, he said.