PRESENTATION TO THE LABOUR PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
19 March 2003
By: Dr Dave Thomas Chief Executive Officer
Mr Chris Sykes Chairperson of the Authority
The Media, Advertising, Publishing, Printing and Packaging SETA consists of a diverse range of (often unrelated) economic activities. The economic activities in the MAPPP sector not only involve manufacturing such as in printing and packaging, but also service activities such as advertising and media. Most of the sub-sectors are characterised by significant knowledge intensity and value-adding components therefore the skills development requirements are by their nature generally targeted at the individual industry segments rather than through a more generic sector-wide strategy.
It is within this context that all stakeholders in the Media, Advertising, Publishing, Printing and Packaging sector embarked on a robust campaign to embrace the skills development legislation and make skills development for the industries an important core business activity. The objective of MAPPP is to ensure that delivery of skills development takes place in the sector. That this is being achieved is demonstrated by the fact that the active participation of companies engaged in skills development has grown by 127% over the first two years of the existence of MAPPP. The number of learners that benefited from skills development has increased to 22% of a total workforce of 91 327 which is 20 092 employees who have completed structured learning programmes.
To give you an idea of some of MAPPPs successes and dare we say it failures, as well as sketching briefly the challenges that we face, I will take the Portfolio Committee through the National Skills Development Strategies five objectives as set by the Minister of Labour. NSDS OBJECTIVE 1: DEVELOPING A CULTURE OF HIGH QUALITY LIFELONG LEARNING
The MAPPP Authority and its Stakeholders believed that to ensure that lifelong learning can take place a simple yet sustainable delivery system for skills development is vital. To this end MAPPP has put in place policies and systems for regular sector skills planning accompanied by support for workplace skills plans to be developed and implemented. To date MAPPP has received 383 of workplace skills plans and it has not only formulated a Sector Skills Plan but has also reviewed it to align to emerging demands.
Furthermore MAPPP has established an integrated education and training quality assurance system that ensures quality integrated education and training interventions are delivered to quality standards relevant to the sectors needs. In close collaboration with various sectors represented in MAPPP, apprenticeships have been transformed into learnerships and new learnerships are being developed. Three hundred and twenty six organisations have been accredited as learning sites. To further enhance the quality of education and training activities MAPPP has trained thus far 2 280 trained assessors and in order to ensure international comparability of training MAPPP has a strategy to establish bi-lateral agreements with international training organisations. The first bi-lateral agreement has been concluded with Skillset in the United Kingdom who are one of the forerunners for skills development in the electronic media sector within the United Kingdom.
NSDS Target: By March 2005, 70 per cent of workers have at least a Level One qualification on the National Qualifications Framework.
In respect of this target, the sector is in the fortunate position of already having in excess of 76% of workers possessing a qualification higher than NQF 1. Notwithstanding this MAPPP continues to address this objective and over the last two years an additional 291 workers have achieved NQF 1 level qualifications.
NSDS Target: By March 2005, a minimum of 15 per cent of workers to have embarked on a structured learning programme, of whom at least 50 per cent have completed their programme satisfactorily.
It is pleasing to note that during the last two years the number of employees undergoing structured learning programmes has risen to 22%. In the year under review 20 092 workers have completed structured learning programmes.
1.3 NSDS Target: By March 2005, an average of 20 enterprises per sector, (to include large, medium and small enterprises), and at least five national government departments, to be committed to, or have achieved, an agreed national standard for enterprised-based people development.
MAPPP has not been selected as a pilot study but nevertheless through its accreditation system and active engagement in the Department of Labour Investors In People project, it is preparing companies for the implementation of Investors in People Standard. NSDS OBJECTIVE 2: FOSTERING SKILLS DEVELOPMENT IN THE FORMAL ECONOMY FOR PRODUCTIVITY AND EMPLOYMENT GROWTH
MAPPP stakeholders are committed to skills development in their industries and as such are actively engaged in identifying career paths and competencies necessary for the present and future skills needs and the necessary intervention strategies to satisfy those needs. It is pleasing to note that contrary to MAPPP target of paying 65% of the total mandatory cash grants to the sector for the 2001 to 2002 period the actual achieved payment is 85%. This indicates a healthy buy-in of companies in the sector to skills development. In our annual report we were naturally conservative in our estimates for cash grant payments but we easily accommodated the cash grant obligations. In 2003 sub-sectoral Chambers will be created to focus on specific industry needs. It is a fact, however, that training does not create employments but rather enhances employability.
2.1 NSDS Target: By March 2005, at least 75 per cent of enterprises with more than 150 workers are receiving skills development grants and the contributions towards productivity and employer and employee benefits are measured.
Eighty-five percent of the levy paying companies employing more than 150 workers have accessed and received cash grants. As has been stated in the introduction, MAPPP has a very diverse sector composition and in order to make the data meaningful the participation by sub-sector is as follows:
- Advertising 100% of levy paying companies are receiving cash grants.
- Arts, Culture & Music 60% of levy paying companies are receiving cash grants.
- Film & Electronic Media 100% of levy paying companies are receiving cash grants.
- Packaging 100% of levy paying companies are receiving cash grants.
- Printing 100% of levy paying companies are receiving cash grants.
- Print Media 100% of levy paying companies are receiving cash grants.
- Publishing 100% of levy paying companies are receiving cash grants.
The Arts, Culture and Music sub-sector is challenging because of the diversity within the sub-sector. A combination of formal and informal enterprises exists operating in many instances in the same markets. This situation applies to medium and small enterprises within the sub-sector. In recognition of this challenge MAPPP is implementing a national project for skills development for the creative industries which is funded by the National Skills Fund.
NSDS Target: By March 2005, at least 40 per cent of enterprises employing between 50 and 150 workers are receiving skills development grants and the contributions towards productivity and employer and employee benefits are measured.
MAPPP has achieved its set target of 25% for the period 2001 2002. The breakdown is as follows:
- Advertising 93% of companies received cash grants.
- Arts, Culture & Music 21% of companies received cash grants.
- Film & Electronic Media 11% of companies received cash grants.
- Packaging 12% of companies received cash grants.
- Printing 35% of companies received cash grants.
- Print Media 46% of companies received cash grants.
- Publishing 64% of companies received cash grants.
MAPPP sector has a large number of micro industries that employ between 0 50 workers and currently this represents ± 3 800 companies out of a total of ± 4 700. The trend towards small micro enterprises has grown by ± 16% over the last two years at the expense of medium and large companies.
Servicing and encouraging small and micro enterprises in skills development, needs a strategy aimed at those companies employing 0 50 workers to submit cash grant claims for training. MAPPP is currently implementing a simplified claims procedure for cash grants for the small and micro enterprises. Naturally MAPPP is mindful of existing cash grant regulations and is working within the confines of the regulations.
2.3 NSDS Target: By March 2005, learnerships are available to workers in every sector. Precise targets will be agreed with each Sector Education and Training Authority.
Learnerships in all their forms are viewed as key to the success of the skills development initiatives. MAPPP has been heavily engaged in the development and implementation of learnerships. The status of learnerships in the MAPPP sector is as follows:
31 learnerships at NQF 4 and NQF 5 levels in the Advertising, Printing and Packaging sub-sectors have been registered with the Department of Labour and currently in excess of 100 learners have been recruited and are in the process of being formally registered. Of these, 87 are unemployed youth.
26 learnerships are being fast tracked through a joint implementation agreement with the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) in the Electronic and Print Media sub-sectors.
A further 17 learnerships have been identified for development.
NSDS OBJECTIVE 3: STIMULATING AND SUPPORTING SKILLS DEVELOPMENT IN SMALL BUSINESSES
NSDS Target: By March 2005, at least 20 per cent of new and existing registered businesses to be supported in skills development initiatives and the impact of such support to be measured.
MAPPP set a target of 5% of companies in the small and micro enterprises to access cash grants for the period 2001 2002 as a measure of skills development taking place in this category. Of companies in this category, 6,5% had received cash grants during the period under review. It must be noted that the current target for the period 2002 2003 is 15%. Challenges
The challenge for MAPPP is to service the diverse needs of its small and micro enterprise constituency. Initiatives approved at Authority level are underway to support this category through a special project aimed at developing skills such as complying with regulatory requirements and the social environment needs in which they operate. For example skills development workshops in Occupational Health and Safety, Basic Conditions of Employment, Skills Development and HIV Awareness are being planned. MAPPP is also encouraging established education and training providers to provide various types of support to small and micro enterprises.
NSDS OBJECTIVE 4: PROMOTING SKILLS DEVELOPMENT FOR EMPLOYABILITY AND SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOODS THROUGH SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES
MAPPP is addressing this objective through the National Skills Fund project for the creative industries branded Create South Africa. The operational infrastructure for Create South Africa has been established. Implementation of the project plan as approved by the Department of Labour has begun. Currently 8 pilot projects have been launched with 108 learners in skills programmes. The major learner target for this initiative are rural woman where it is expected that 1 500 learners will benefit from the programme once completed.
NSDS OBJECTIVE 5: ASSISTING NEW ENTRANTS INTO EMPLOYMENT
MAPPP takes on a combination of unemployed youth and current employees into apprenticeships. Over the last two years 404 learners who were unemployed before entering contracts, successfully completed their apprenticeships. The qualifications achieved were at the NQF 4 and 5 levels, and all the unemployed learners were taken into permanent employment. It is expected that this trend may not necessarily be sustainable for all learnerships but it is expected that in the region of up to 80% will find permanent employment after completing their learnerships.
MAPPP is in the process of reviewing its entire operations and structures so that it is better placed to meet the ever changing needs within its sector. Paramount to MAPPP is that skills development takes place across the entire sector, and the communities in which these sectors operate, with the emphasis placed on a learner centred approach.
The financial performance of MAPPP for the period under review indicated that the actual levy income was R84 084 403.38. This under performance against a budgeted income of R90 million was indicative of structural changes, reduction of advertising expenditure, and of course the consequent reduction in employee numbers in the sector. Notwithstanding these circumstances, MAPPP in its operations was mindful of the Skills Development Levies Act No. 9 of 1999 and still operated within the allowable 10% for operational and administrative costs within a reduced income. Our actual operational expenditure was 9.3% of total levy income received and indicates effective expenditure control.
Cash grants including discretionary grants for the period 2001 2002 have been paid. This translates to a payment of R57 625 797 which is 85,8% of the total cash grants available to the sector, and as been stated is a measure of the buy-in companies have made into skills development. Discretionary Funds were used to service MAPPP apprentices in the sector as well as internships which formed part of recognised qualifications.
The prudent use of financial resources for the operational requirements of MAPPP has resulted in an operational reserve of R5 010 090 which indicates that sound financial discipline is being exercised within the operations of MAPPP.