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THE IMPORTANCE OF WORKPLACE APPROVAL FOR HOST EMPLOYERS WITH LEARNERS ENROLLED FOR OCCUPATIONAL QUALIFICATIONS AND TRADES



In the landscape of vocational training and education, the integration of practical workplace experience holds immense value. As learners embark on their journey to acquire occupational qualifications, the opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge in real-world settings is indispensable. Host employers play a pivotal role in facilitating this exposure, but why is workplace approval necessary for them to provide learners with such opportunities as part of an Occupational Qualification?


Bridging the Gap between Theory and Practice

One of the fundamental objectives of vocational training is to bridge the gap between theoretical learning and practical application. While classroom instruction provides a solid foundation of knowledge, it is the hands-on experience gained in real work environments that truly hones skills and fosters competence. Workplace exposure allows learners to put theory into practice, grapple with real-life challenges, and develop the confidence and proficiency required to excel in their chosen fields.


Ensuring Quality Learning Environments

Not all workplaces are created equal in terms of their suitability for training purposes. Some may lack the necessary resources, infrastructure, or commitment to mentorship required to provide a conducive learning environment. This is where the concept of workplace approval comes into play. By requiring host employers to undergo an approval process, regulatory bodies such as the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) and Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) ensure that learners are placed in environments that meet predefined standards of quality and safety. This helps safeguard the interests of learners, ensuring they receive a meaningful and enriching learning experience.


Compliance with Occupational Qualifications

Occupational qualifications serve as blueprints for the skills and competencies required within specific industries and professions. These qualifications outline the knowledge, practical skills, and behaviours that learners must demonstrate to achieve certification. Workplace exposure is often a mandatory component of these qualifications, as it enables learners to fulfil practical requirements and gain firsthand experience in their chosen field. Host employers seeking approval to provide workplace exposure must demonstrate alignment with the competencies outlined in the relevant occupational qualification, ensuring that learners receive training that is both relevant and compliant.


Fostering Partnerships and Collaboration

The process of workplace approval fosters partnerships and collaboration between educational institutions (Public and Private Skills Development Providers – SDPs), regulatory bodies, and industry stakeholders. Host employers, by seeking approval to participate in learner placement programs, signal their commitment to supporting the development of future talent within their respective sectors. This collaboration not only benefits learners by providing them with valuable learning opportunities but also strengthens the ties between education and industry, ensuring that vocational training remains responsive to the evolving needs of the labour market.


Enhancing Employability and Career Readiness

Ultimately, the goal of vocational training is to enhance learners' employability and prepare them for successful careers in their chosen fields. Workplace exposure plays a crucial role in achieving this objective by equipping learners with the practical skills, industry knowledge, and professional demeanour sought after by employers. Through the approval process, host employers commit to providing learners with meaningful experiences that contribute to their overall career readiness, thereby increasing their prospects of securing gainful employment upon completion of their qualifications.


Workplace Approval for Employers within the Personal Care Sector

A critical component of occupational qualifications is access to a relevant and approved workplace. For this reason, all SDPs wishing to apply for accreditation need to have strong partnerships with employers who will provide their learners with access to workplace experience. For this reason, SDPs are encouraged to work with and, where appropriate, assist employers with their application for registration and as approved workplaces for occupational qualifications. This will provide a win-win situation, as SDPs in our sector are more experienced in and understand the Services SETA process. Entities wishing to be included in the database of approved workplaces should send an e-mail to: workplaceappr@serviceseta.org.za.


Employers who wish to apply for workplace approval, please apply at artisansworkplaceapplications@serviceseta.org.za. An automated respond will prompt you to send certain documents that will be evaluated by the evaluator before scheduling a site visit.


Registered Occupational Qualifications (Full, Part, and Skills Programmes) within the Personal Care Sector


Quality Partner – Services SETA

Beauty:

National Occupational Certificate: Beauty Therapist, NQF 4, 158 Credits

(ID:121607).


The Beauty Therapist qualification comes with 9 registered part-qualifications. These are:

  1. Occupational Certificate: Beauty Practitioner, NQF Level 4, 112 Credits.

  2. Occupational Certificate: Body Therapist, NQF Level 4, 78 Credits.

  3. Occupational Certificate: Manual Skincare Therapist, NQF Level 4, 60 Credits.

  4. Occupational Certificate: Eye Grooming Therapist, NQF Level 4, 38 Credits.

  5. Occupational Certificate: Makeup Consultant, NQF Level 4, 47 Credits.

  6. Occupational Certificate: Nail Therapist, NQF Level 4, 47 Credits.

  7. Occupational Certificate: Temporary Hair Removal Therapist, NQF Level 4, 48 Credits.

  8. Occupational Certificate: Body Care Therapist, NQF Level 4, 50 Credits.

  9. Occupational Certificate: Body Massage Therapist, NQF Level 4, 55 Credits

 

Quality Partner – National Artisan Moderation Body (NAMB)

Hairdressing:

National Occupational Qualification: Hairdresser, NQF 4, 540 Credits (ID: 102497)


The Hairdresser qualification has 6 Skills Programmes. These are:

  1. Skills Programme: Barber, NQF Level 3, 36 Credits.

  2. Skills Programme: Chemical Hair Reformation Attendant, NQF Level 4, 51 Credits. 

  3. Skills Programme: Hair and Scalp Treatment Attendant, NQF Level 2, 23 Credits,

  4. Skills Programme: Hair Colouring Attendant, NQF Level 4, 51 Credits.

  5. Skills Programme: Hair Cutting Attendant, NQF Level 4, 60 Credits.

  6. Skills Programme: Hairstylist, NQF Level 3, 56 Credits.


Definitions


Occupational Qualification

A qualification associated with a trade, occupation or profession developed and quality assured under the auspices of the QCTO and consisting of knowledge/theory and application (practical skills/work experience/simulated work experience) components and an external integrated summative assessment.


Part-Qualification

An assessed unit of learning with a defined outcome that is or will be, is registered as part of a qualification on the NQF.


Skills Programme

Chapter 5 of the Skills Development Act, Act 97 of 1998 defines a skills programme as “a skills programme that is occupationally based and when completed will constitute/contribute a credit towards a qualification registered on the NQF.


Workplace based learning

The learning achieved through exposure and interactions gained while in the workplace that a learner has to complete towards a qualification or part –qualification registered on the Occupational Qualification Sub-framework, including skills programmes.



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