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The acronym “SETA” stands for Sector Education and Training Authority. These industry bodies were created by the Minister of Labour in 2005 to develop and implement sector-specific skill plans to increase the skills of people in each sector.

The Skills Development Act (1998) provides a framework for the development of skills in the workplace. Amongst other things, the Act provides for skills development through a levy-grant scheme. There are 21 sector-specific Sector Education and Training Authorities – or SETAs – which administer the scheme’s funds, and manage the skills development process.

The SETAs are accredited by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), which oversees the development and implementation of South Africa’s National Qualifications Framework (NQF).

The National Qualifications Framework (NQF) is a framework on which standards and qualifications – agreed to by education and training stakeholders across the country – are registered.

Click here for more about SAQA & the NQF

All over South Africa, there are are many people who need to learn new skills. Some are already working in jobs but need to improve their skills and to learn new ones. Each year there are many young people who finish their high-school education and begin looking for jobs. It is estimated that more than 50% of Grade 12 learners will leave school without even basic skills to seek and find work. They desperately need further skills and training.

Many people who are presently unemployed and still actively seeking work have few skills and little training. Of these unemployed people, there are many types

• People who want to own and run their own businesses
• People with disabilities
• People whose current skills are not enough to provide money to survive.

All of these people need and can benefit from skills development. The SETAs were established to manage the many skills development needs. Each SETA co-ordinates skills development in its particular sector. A sector is made up of economic activities that are linked and related.

So, for example, there is a SETA that deals with the banking sector (BANKSETA). Another is concerned with skills development in the information technology sector (MICTSETA). Another is responsible for the manufacturing sector (MERSETA) and there is a SETA for agriculture (AGRISETA). Between them, the SETAs cover both the public and private sectors.

SETAs do not provide learnerships directly to the public. They facilitate the creation of learnerships with employers. You can contact SETAs directly to find out which employers offer learnerships.

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