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This article is taken from the December 2004 Phatlalatsa newsletter

 

Official evaluators of the Learnership programme

Official evaluators of the Learnership programme imageIn recent months much has been said in the media about the role and performance of the 25 Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs), those agencies at the centre of operationalising the government's national skills development strategy. The thrust of much of this attention has been around the failure of SETAs to deliver on their mandate. As a result there has been talk, and indeed the drafting of some proposals, about merging some of the SETAs so that delivery can be streamlined and, therefore, more effective and efficient.The May 2004 edition of Phatlalatsa reported the results of the pilot study that Strategy & Tactics has conducted for the Department of Labour. While the results were extremely positive from the perspective of the beneficiaries spoken to - those learners who had completed a learnership as well as employers who had been through a programme - we did caution against the generalisability of the results given the small and focused sample of both sets of respondents.

Against this background we have just completed a far more comprehensive evaluation of the learnership programme, focusing on the following key activities:

  • In-depth interviews with all SETAs to get their feedback on the programme as well as on the results of the pilot study.
  • A series of focus groups targeting completed learners and supervisors to explore some of the questions emanating from the pilot study as well as to generate qualitative baseline data for the evaluation.
  • A baseline survey of 1200 learners and 200 employers, spread across SETAs and NQF levels.

We are now involved in the process of consolidating all the information and data that we have gathered over the last number of months in order to meet the main objectives of our evaluation: an assessment of beneficiary perspectives of learnerships; and the establishment of a model and mechanisms for future evaluations of learnerships. Our final report should be submitted to the Department of Labour by the end of the year.

 

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