by-Oyewo-Umoh Adetola Elizabeth
On October 5th 2018, the Chemical Industries Education & Training Authority (CHIETA) engaged stakeholders on the Regional Skills Forum (RSF) engagement session to prepare for DG 2018-2019 Cycle3 Funding Window at the Hilton hotel Durban. The stakeholders were also updated on the Sector Skills Plan (SSP) in accordance with the requirements of the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) annually. Among other things, the session provided the situational context and sector profile in the chemical sector. Which is also in alignment with the skills planning for the chemical sector such as the National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS) III, the National Skills Accord, the National Youth Employment Accord (NYEA), the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) policies, and various regulations, such as the Grant Regulations.
Chieta Acting CEO, Kedibone Morane stated that the regional forum ‘is recognition that the Chemical Industries and education offered to learners needed to be impacted by the fourth industrial revolution’. This is necessary as new technology emerge, there is the need to prepare learners for future skills in the chemical sector’ said Morane.
The highlight of the session unpacked sstrategic plan for 2018/19 ,research and skills update, grant window application guidelines, qqualifications development updates and best practice and optimization of efficiency for SETA. CHIETA has developed many interventions and mechanisms to address the skills needs of the industry and to overcome skills shortages. CHIETA interventions span the whole skills’ development pipeline. These include interventions at school level, support for TVET colleges, support for and co-operation with higher education and training institutions;, artisan development . In addition to support for small and micro enterprises and recognition of prior learning and PIVOTAL programmes which are necessary to address critical skills needs
While the Chieta 2015/2016 report indicates that in 2014/15 the petroleum subsector employed the largest contingent of workers in the chemical sector with more than 46,000. The second largest employer was the base chemicals subsector with just more than 16%, followed by the pharmaceuticals and speciality chemicals subsector (15%). In addition to the petroleum subsector employed between 44 000 and 47 000 people. In all four years, Gauteng was the province with the largest number of employees – 45% in 2012, 42% in 2013 and 41% in 2014 and 2015. This was followed by KwaZulu-Natal with 19% of employees in 2012, 16% in 2013, 17% in 2014 and 19% in 2015. Employees in the chemical sector are highly qualified more so than in many other sectors.