Grants to develop skills available


Private and public establishments in culture, arts, tourism, hospitality and sport have been encouraged to apply for funding from Cathsseta (the culture, arts, tourism, hospitality and sport sector education and training authority) which opened applications this week for pivotal programmes and discretionary grants from their budget of about R380m for developing skills.
Yesterday the state-owned entity held a discretionary grants workshop in East London to educate the more than 100 establishments represented, about the prerequisites for funding to increase the skills of unemployed youth, students or graduates in the various sectors covered by the Seta.
National acting executive manager for skills development Lebogang Mpye said the Seta had a budget of R380m last year and funding was expected to increase this year.
“We get allocated funding according to the number of successful applications we get and what their financial requirements are. At this stage we are still appealing for applications to come through and will only know what our budget is when the selection process has been completed.
“However over the years we have had a growth of 12% in funding allocation annually, especially since the rollout of the nine regional offices we opened in 2016. More people are aware of the Seta, which is one of about 21 in the country and among the least funded.”
Mpye said there were two types of funding programmes – mandatory and discretionary.
“While mandatory funding may qualify all Seta levy entities that employ more than 50 people, the discretionary fund is applicable to non-levy paying entities who meet our discretionary requirements.”
Quality assurance training head Dimpho Phungwayo said they faced the challenge of many service providers who were unclear of what their role was.
“We want to ensure that students who undergo training are work-ready, because that's where we discovered there's a need for service providers to fill the gap – giving quality experiential training and exposing students to relevant conduct.
“But it's not happening.
“Service providers are often unaware of what they need to train students, what they need to expose them to or what they need to do.
“When that is not clear even in the proposals, we reject them because you need to be clear about what you're offering,” she said.
East London Golf Course financial manager Gill Gouws said in the 2016-17 financial year she had acquired 16 students through the skills development fund from the Cathsseta, but ended up with seven by the end of that year.
“We need people who are committed and passionate, and they're difficult to find.
“You find that there are opportunists who apply until they find something else offering more stipends.
“We also need more accredited training facilities.
“Environmental affairs, restaurant and sports managing facilities are not available in East London and that's what we need,” she said.
1st Class B&B Manor owner Pelisa Kunju, whose establishment is in Belgravia, said she had been operating for four years, but struggles to get an intake of interns or people to train. “They all want to work in big hotels and aren't willing to start small in B&Bs.
“And we as business owners are forced to train uneducated people who need employment, so it's difficult to get qualified professionals.
“It's always interesting engaging on this platform and hearing what is required of you and what is available out there, so we don't give up and keep at it,” she said.
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