Directions for reopening of institutions of occupational learning

Directions for reopening of institutions of occupational learning

Below follows a summary of the key points regarding the directions for reopening of institutions offering qualifications registered on the occupational qualifications sub – framework as issued by the Department of Higher Education and Training. The Government Gazette in which they have been published is attached below.

These Directions are to be implemented by all institutions and individuals involved in executing all activities related to programmes registered on the Occupational Qualifications Sub -Framework (OQSF)

Institutional readiness

In terms of staff and learners returning to the workplace and places of learning the following should be taken into account:

  • The return of staff and learners to institutions will be phased in as provided for, in terms of the Alert Levels.
  • Learners and staff who are able to work remotely should be encouraged to do so.
  • The social impact of the lockdown requires consideration for learners whose living conditions at home are such that they are not in a position to participate meaningfully in remote learning.
  • Ensure that physical distancing is maintained.
  • An assessment of the physical infrastructure of each institution should be conducted.  
  • Specific plans should be developed for the phased return of the learners and staff after a risk assessment has been conducted.
  • These plans need to be ready for inspection and be communicated to all the stakeholders
  • Once the institution has confirmed that it is ready for their return individuals recalled may do so. They must also ensure that they are in possession of the relevant permit for return before traveling to the institutions
  • All institutions and workplaces must identify isolation quarantine facilities, develop and publicise protocols for any staff or learners who present with symptoms or test positive.
  • Provision must be made for: sanitisation, screening of staff, learners and the public, entering the premises
  • There should be provisions of masks and other appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
  • Guidelines for staff and learners regarding age vulnerabilities and the prevalence of co- morbidities must be in place.
  • Links to online resource and the news portal www.SAcoronavirus.coza to handle cases for should be available.
  • All institutions must have a COVID -19 Response Task Team in place.

Return to contact classes

Each institution must implement its teaching and learning plan to ensure that physical distancing and other health protocols are observed at all times. This implies the implementation of blended learning methodologies and contact teaching, where necessary, must adhere to physical distancing.

At all alert levels and at all times, screening, the wearing of masks, hand-washing and sanitising is required for all staff and learners.

Institutions will have two weeks from the date of the implementation of the level to ensure that all preparations have been done.

Risk – Adjusted Strategy: Alert Level 3

Unless otherwise directed or as the sector permits, a maximum of 33 %, of the learner population will be allowed to return to the institution on condition that they comply with the applicable specific regulations.

A two weeks waiting period should be allowed after the announcement of an alert-level, to allow for readiness, learners’ travel and disinfection of the premises.

Supporting and other mandatory activities will be conducted remotely and/or physically

Learner orientation

All learners who report to the institution must first be orientated on the COVID -19 safety measures as well as the contents of this guideline before the commencement of any training

Evidence of learner orientation must be made available as and when required.

Impact of Covid-19 on 2020 BBBEE Compliance

Fariba Bowen

How will the Covid-19 pandemic influence annual compliance targets? Will SETA grants still be available? How will the skills levy payment holiday affect your plans and targets? Will there be any relief in terms of compliance? These questions were the topic of focus at our recent Community of Experts, held for the first time as an online event last Tuesday, 26 May. Digitalising the workshop enabled us to enjoy attendance and participation of over 120 HR practitioners from around the country.

Andrew Bizzell, Managing Director of The BEE Chamber – a 14,000 member strong consultancy – gave an indepth presentation on the ‘new’ BEE landscape, with a particular emphasis on how Covid-19 impacts on BEE compliance.

Anusha Mariemuthu, CEO of AM2PM Consulting, has had the advantage of many years experience working for an international corporation, leading its transformation efforts. Over the last few years, she has provided insights to corporate clients on best practice in terms of compliance and transformation. In her presentation, she explored the practical implications of Covid-19 and how practitioners must respond.

Stefan Lauber has been the CEO of iFundi for the last 20 year and works with a large number of blue-chip companies around skills development. He unpacked the need for a successful transition towards digitalisation in the HR and skills development space and showcased the online learning, recruitment and project management solutions that iFundi has worked on for the last few years.

iFundi helps Corporates to Sponsor Bursary Students

iFundi helps Corporates to Sponsor Bursary Students

Fariba Bowen

The recent amendments to the B-BBEE codes require employers to spend 2,5% of their annual payroll on bursaries for black students at Higher Education Institutions.

The changes in the Skills Development element of the scorecard introduced a split in the 6% overall target into two parts: 3,5% for accredited programmes and 2,5% for bursaries. All companies doing verifications after 1st December 2019, have to implement these new targets to gain maximum points.

As a Department of Higher Education & Training registered skills institute offering nationally-recognised qualification programmes, corporates can now take part in the iFundi Bursary and Scholarship Programme. In supporting this programme, your company can meet its compliance requirements, while helping economically challenged and deserving black learners applying to study at iFundi, to finance their studies.

It is important to note that the overall Economically Active Population (EAP) demographic representation of black persons in South Africa also applies to the compliance target set for these bursaries and scholarships and will have to be taken into account in the calculation of points.

Expenses on scholarships and bursaries for employees or their family members are allowed, as long as the grant is not conditional on the company recovering any portion of the expense. The following conditions are allowed:

  1. the obligation of successful completion in their studies within the time period allocated; or
  2. the obligation of continued employment by the Measured Entity for a period following successful completion of their studies is not more than the period of their studies.

Over 18,000 youth have completed their studies and secured full-time employment through iFundi, With online and face to face training options and full administrative support, managing bursaries is simple and meaningful

Contact us for more information, or call our Bursaries Coordinator, Reggie Leseane on 011 290 5900, or reggie@ifundi.co.za.

A New Way of Learning and Working

A New Way of Learning and Working

Stefan Lauber

Although eLearning has been around for a long while, we now have no other option but to embrace it. iFundi has been at the forefront of SETA-accredited learnership management for nearly 20 years. Like others, we have had to adapt to a rapidly changing environment.

In the last three years, we have been developing our online delivery capacity. The latest version of our eLearning portal includes video conferencing for facilitator-led classes, complemented by video tutorials, online learner guides and assessments for self-paced learning.

The video provides you a quick overview of our solutions, including a collaboration tool to help manage projects remotely and an online recruitment platform to assist with remote screening and selection of staff and learners.

Feel free to contact us for a personal demonstration of our solutions, to help you prepare to continue to deliver training in the time of COVID-19.

Three Biggest Challenges for e-Leaders

Three Biggest Challenges for e-Leaders

by Alex Kinmont

The boundary between real life and the internet is blurring. With the way that we are living online comes an opportunity and a need to be led online and so the next generation will rely on a leader’s ability to navigate the digital world. For a way of life that is dependent on the internet, leadership online and leadership in the physical world can no longer be separate.

Electronic Leadership, termed e-Leadership, is leadership in today’s technological and information-rich era. The three biggest challenges which leaders will have to navigate online are fake news, cancel culture and selfish online activism.

  • Fake News

Fake News is any media which is not just untrue but intended to mislead or misrepresent for political or financial gain. The omnipotence of the internet means that news, fake or real, has the ability to socially engineer people as well as make a lot of money.

The 2018 Cambridge Analytica data scandal is a prime example of the danger of fake news and social engineering. Facebook was accused of letting company Cambridge Analytica illegally harvest the personal data of 87 million people in order to use online ads and misinformation to target and influence the 2016 US elections and Brexit. Since our lives influenced by what we see daily online, the nature and content of what we see has the power to change how we think. When the influences are fake, this becomes an incredibly dangerous issue, with real-world consequences on a national scale.

Today’s leaders need to navigate a world of misinformation. The democracy of the internet is both incredible and problematic, and as of last year the biggest digital giant of all, Facebook, admitted that they don’t have full control of what goes online. The internet is uncontainable, and our leaders need to know how to lead around that.

  • Cancel Culture

Cancel Culture is the act of ‘cancelling’ a person or organisation when they do something wrong or problematic. This can be done through boycotting, blocking and publically shaming the perpetrator. As a form of mob justice, although positioned as fighting for good, it is easily and dangerously flawed.

The most significant example of Cancel Culture and its reach was the cancelling of Beauty YouTuber James Charles earlier this year. Charles received massive backlash after he promoted a product on Instagram which is the direct competition of his best friend’s company. Charles was called out on his betrayal as well as allegations of sexual harassment.

The internet storm which followed lost Charles over 3 million subscribers and earned him a multitude of commentary and memes. A couple of days later, Charles publically responded, disputing the accusations and giving his side of the story. Tables turned as the internet realised there was not enough evidence to substantiate either person’s story.

Charles may have gained back his following, but the internet has forever changed. The whole debacle highlighted a key issue with Cancel Culture- that it spreads far too fast and does not rely on evidence or fact. The speed at which a story or video can go viral is dangerous, illustrating the automatic and lazy nature at which we consume digital media.

Leaders today will have to deal with the consequences of a society that has learned to cancel those with differing opinion without waiting for proof of the crime. Mob justice is a tricky issue to squash, because one may come across as defending the perpetrator’s crime rather than their right to justice.

  • Social Justice Warriors

Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) have quickly earned a negative reputation. Like the vigilantism of cancel culture, the root motivation of Social Justice Warriors is good – to stand up for minority groups and change oppressive behaviours, philosophies and leaders. However, the extremity of SJWs has increased tenfold with the internet and social media, so much so that the term social justice warrior has become derogatory.

Why are SJWs seen to be hostile and self-interested? Making a social media post is quick, easy and free. It can also be anonymous. The ease at which we can voice our opinions to a large audience of people has led to lazy opinions being heralded without question; like fake news and cancel culture, the need for evidence comes second to the need for attention.

Social Media Activists are often accused of being vocal on social media for reputational purposes rather than real philanthropy. Hashtag activism, where social movements are started and mostly carried out online, is accused as being lazy activism – where one can write a post denouncing poverty and then go back to watching TV without donating money or doing any charity work.

Activism online is controversial. People question whether those promoting a hashtag really care for the issue or just want to seem like they’re doing something good. The ease at which we can protest online has led way for these assumptions and accusations.

In a time where SJWs are out to fight any battle they can with the sole motivation of stroking their own ego, prominent figures ad companies need to be extra-careful in where and how they tread. Where guilty parties can be rightfully held accountable, innocent parties can be sentenced without trial.

The digital age has brought with it a new way of living and with it, the need for a new way of leading. Leaders are those who stand out from the crowd as willing to choose a path and guide others’ down it. In a time where opinion is at risk of being based on fake news, cancelled and called out, to voice a legitimate opinion is not an easy feat.

The internet and Social Media has changed the very fabric of our society, altering how we communicate and how we see justice. With fake news altering perception, mob justice fuelling the inability to voice opinion, and the lack of regard for evidence and fact in an argument, the internet can be a dangerous place. e-Leadership is the ability to surpass these obstacles and help others do the same.