Embracing Change

The impending transition in South Africa from the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) to the Occupational Qualifications Sub Framework (OQSF), managed by the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO), has significant implications for various industries, employers, and training providers. The transition poses challenges such as misalignment between existing qualifications, potential discontinuation of certain programs, and the need for organizations to reassess their training portfolios.

Below is a summary of and key points for thoughts and recommendations: –

Transition Overview
  • South Africa is transitioning from the NQF to the OQSF managed by the QCTO.
  • Existing qualifications will not be re-registered.
  • The shift has implications for industries, employers, and training providers.
Challenges and Implications:
  • Misalignment between NQF and OQSF programs.
  • Critical qualifications lack equivalents in the QCTO.
  • Impending deadline for new enrolments (30 June 2024) and potential penalties for non-compliance.
  • Cascading impact on workforce planning, learner progression, and skills development scorecards.
Initiative-Taking and Contingency Planning:
  • Urgency in addressing the transition; ignoring it is not an option.
  • Need for an initiative-taking approach and contingency planning.
  • Exploring alternative pathways within the QCTO even if they deviate from traditional areas of focus.
  • Consideration of alternative programs in the absence of suitable equivalents.
Seizing Opportunities and Mitigating Risks:
  • The importance of getting learners on board by the deadline.
  • The teach-out provision allowing learners to complete their learnerships until 30 June 2027.
  • Uncertainty about potential tax benefits associated with learnerships.
  • Training providers playing a decisive role in engaging with clients, identifying gaps, and presenting viable options.
Communication and Role of Training Providers:
  • Communication is key during the transition.
  • Training providers should actively engage with clients, identify gaps, and guide them through the transition.
  • Awareness of risks and opportunities presented by the QCTO is crucial.
Toward Workforce and Economic Growth:
  • Acknowledgment that the transition may impact every sector differently.
  • Managing risks is crucial for all involved.
  • The QCTO’s role in ensuring a skilled workforce, driving economic growth, and building adaptability for future challenges.

Call to Action

  • The transition is unavoidable, and the 30 June 2024 deadline marks a point of no return.
  • Organizations must act strategically, either by enrolling learners in existing programs or exploring alternative pathways within the QCTO.

From the desk of Roslyn Williams
Chief Operations Officer Swift Skills Academy