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Education sector failing the economy by not developing and retaining qualified personnel - Department of Labour


The education sector was failing in its role to develop and retain the suitably qualified personnel to help drive the economy, said Department of Labour Director of Employment Equity (EE), Ntsoaki Mamashela.


Mamashela said while the sector was critical in developing a suitably qualified personnel to drive the economy, it was found wanting in the implementation of employment equity and providing opportunities to disadvantaged and disabled people. She said the sector despite its mandate of developing human resources it was failing to be a "role model" to retain and grow that pool in its midst.


"Figures do not lie. The question is why is the sector losing the people it develops, because even in the private sector they are not accounted for, especially the disabled," asked Mamashela.


The Department of Labour and the Commission for Employment Equity (CEE) were today meeting with “the academic world” at the Birchwood Hotel and Conference Centre in Boksburg, Gauteng, to engage on the implementation of employment equity.


To date,  the Department and CEE have met with the Retail & Motor; Manufacturing; Finance; Catering & Accommodation; Construction; and Transport sectors.


The Department and CEE are planning to host the last three sector engagements with Mining & Quarrying (8 September 2016: Gauteng); Wholesale Sector (14 September: Western Cape); and Local Government (22 September: Gauteng).


The department and the CEE initiated the engagements in June to meet with various sectors to discuss the status of employment equity implementation in the workplaces in South Africa. This follows the recent launch of the 16th CEE Annual Report which expressed concern on the lack of transformation in the workplace.


The CEE Report shows that the white group at senior management within educational institutions is made of over (63,0 percent), African group (19,2 percent), Indian group (6,8 percent), and Coloured group (5,5 percent).


The report also notes that there is an increase in the number of foreign nationals (from 2,4 percent two years ago to current over five percent) in top management positions, especially amongst males within the educational institutions.


The aim of the sectoral engagements is to hear from sector stakeholders why transformation is not happening, difficulties encountered in the implementation of EE and come up with possible interventions to advise Labour Minister.


The Commission for Employment Equity is a statutory body established in terms of section 28 of the Employment Equity Act. Its role is to advise Labour Minister on any matter concerning the Act, including policy and matters pertaining to the implementation of the EE Act.


The Commission is of the view that if the education sector fails to champion transformation all institutions in the economy will suffer.


Mamashela said the educational sector needed to change its culture, so as to develop all-inclusive and diverse institutions.


All engagements include Sector Education & Training Authority (SETA) and trade unions operating in that sector.


25 August 2016



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