The Energy and Water Sector Education and Training Authority (EWSETA) is a skills development authority serving the energy and water sectors. It is one of 21 Sector Education and Training Authorities SETAs established in South Africa in terms of the Skills Development Act of 1998 – amended. It plays a crucial function in ensuring that the National Skills and Development Strategy is executed within the energy and water sectors.
Work of SETA’s
Frequently Asked Questions
What is EWSETA?
The Energy and Water Sector Education and Training Authority or EWSETA is one of the 21 SETAs established by the Skills Development Act of 1998, as amended. Through this Act, a SETA is specifically established for a particular economic sector for example, for the banking sector there is BANKSETA, for the Agriculture sector there is AGRISETA and so for the energy and water sector, there is us – the EWSETA. Our mandate is to anticipate, build and manage the skills development and training needs of the energy and water services sector through strategic skills planning within the context of the National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS III), which is the guiding framework for skills development in the country. We report to the Department of Higher Education and Training and our main source of revenue is through the skills levies paid by employers in the energy and water sector to SARS.
A common misunderstanding is that SETA’s implement training, however, we do not train. What we do is ensure that we have developed and registered the required and necessary qualifications in the sector, that we have accredited training providers to offer those qualifications and we monitor and quality assure the training ensuring that at the end of the day, the learner has a recognised certificate in his or her hands that will make them employable within our sector.
As an employer in the energy and water sector, what do I need to know?
As a registered employer with EWSETA, you are able to access Funding for your skills development and training needs, either through the Mandatory Grant or Discretionary Grant process. If you submit your Workplace Skills Plan and Annual Training Reports to EWSETA annually, and it is approved, you are able to get 20% of your Skills Levies back for further skills development initiatives within your company. The Discretionary Funding Windows are also opened at least twice in a year and through this process, employers and other stakeholders within the energy and water sector are able to submit proposals.
DG Funding Windows are advertised in national newspapers and on the website and the submission process for both Mandatory Grant and Discretionary Grant Funding is via our online system which can be accessed via our website.
What is the accreditation process for Skills Development Providers?
Forms and further information is available under Quality Assurance on the website.
What are the different learning programmes available in the energy and water sector?
As a learner, employee or unemployed youth, EWSETA facilitates different learning programmes that are suited to individual needs and competencies and are responsive to the sector’s scarce and critical skills requirements. These are all aimed at helping individuals acquire the skills in demand.
- A Learnership is the most common learning programme. EWSETA learnerships are generally a 12-month programme per competency level and lead to a NQF Qualification related to an occupation. At the end of the Learnership learners receive an EWSETA Certificate indicating the competency level achieved. Learners are able to get a qualification even whilst working full time, they do not pay for the learnership and the unemployed are given an allowance called a stipend to cover their transport and food during training.
Those interested in registering for a learnership can register with the Department of Labour, or apply directly to training providers like the TVETs or will be informed of learnership opportunities through their Ward Councillors and local Youth Councils and Agencies.
- Apprenticeships is another type of Learning Programme and one that we as EWSETA are focusing extensively on due to the fact that artisans are in high demand and yet we have a serious shortage of qualified artisans in the country. EWSETA assists learners to enter the technical training system through apprenticeships that are job oriented, specifically relating to a trade. After passing a Trade Test the learner, youth/employee is recognised as an artisan and with that scarce skill there are better employment opportunities and even opportunities for self-employment. Some of the more common and in-demand trades in our sector are plumbers, electricians, fitters and turners, welders and instrument mechanicians.
- Other learning programmes include internships, skills programmes, bursaries and recognition of prior learning programmes.
All EWSETA accredited qualifications are registered with SAQA and are available on the SAQA website www.saqa.org.za
Why should learners consider career opportunities in the energy and water sector?
Energy and water are two of our most critical resources in the country and they are both under serious threat due to growing demand. As a result, government and society at large have an obligation to ensure that we are doing everything in our power to address these threats through various projects and initiatives like for example, addressing old and poorly maintained infrastructure, creating sustainable solutions to managing these resources, introducing renewable energy sources, developing new technologies, as well as educating the public on responsible energy and water use. The common thread in all of these is without a doubt, skills. Sadly and quite worrying is the fact that we have a serious scarcity /or a lack of qualified people in the energy and water sector, particularly, technically skilled people. Therefore, it is our responsibility, together with other role-players, to ensure that we are supplying enough skills to meet the growing demand for these skills, and the starting point is to encourage our youth to consider a career within our sector and to enrol for one of the many energy and water qualifications at various institutions of learning, particularly the Technical and Vocational Education and Training colleges or TVETs.
What is the difference between a scarce and critical skill and what are the scarce and critical skills in the energy and water sector?
Scarce skills are those occupations in which there are a scarcity of qualified and experienced people, currently or anticipated in the future. Either because such skilled people are not available (absolute scarcity), or they are available but do not meet the employment criteria (relative scarcity) e.g. lack of experience.
Critical skills are specific key or generic and ‘top up’ skills within an occupation. These would include cognitive skills (problem solving), language and literacy skills, mathematical skills, ICT skills and working in teams. Particular occupationally specific ‘top-up’ skills required for performance within that occupation.
In our sector there is a need for Scientists, Technologists, Technicians and Artisans such as:
- Electrical Engineers
- Project Managers
- Civil Engineers
- Fitters / Fitters and Turners
- Water Process Controllers
- Boiler makers
- Energy Engineers
- Water Quality Analysts
- Environmental Engineers
- Instrument Mechanics
- Health and Safety Managers
- Quantity Surveyors
So we would most certainly encourage learners listening to pursue any of these careers as they are in high demand and are scarce skills. However, what is important is that for careers in the energy and water sector, you will need mathematics and physical science.
What are “Green Skills” and why are they careers that should be seriously considered?
South Africa is committed to becoming a low carbon economy and to reducing our carbon emissions by 34% by 2020. As the country moves towards a clean energy future, predictions around job creation for the energy and water sector are very promising. There is a demand for skilled professionals particularly in the energy sector to drive green innovations.
So by pursuing a “green skill’ qualification, a learner has better employment prospects which means upward social mobility, they will be contributing to the country’s global competitiveness and productivity, they will be helping South Africa move towards a green economy and most importantly, combating the threat of climate change.
One of the key advantages of this career path is that “green skills” can be utilised on a domestic capacity as well. After completing formal education, leaners can use their practical knowledge to discover the essence of their unique contribution to the green economy. They could create opportunities in their communities and also start their own businesses such as, installation and maintenance of Solar Geysers; Installing and maintaining clean technology, such as solar hot water systems; Recycling options and the safe disposal of waste and Developing new sustainable products and services.
Emerging “new” scarce skill occupations identified in the energy and water sector are “green skills” such as wind energy operations managers, wind turbine plant process technicians, concentrated solar power (CSP) plant process controllers, environmental engineers, maintenance skills for wind farms, technicians in renewable energy and nuclear energy, nuclear engineers, electrical and project engineers.
How is one able to access an EWSETA Bursary?
Every Financial year (1 April – 31 March) EWSETA allocates a budget towards Bursaries. Like with all our other learning programmes, applications for bursaries has to be done when the Discretionary Grant Funding Window is opened and can be made to EWSETA by training institutions, employers and individuals, provided that the qualification or field of study is aligned to our scarce and critical skills.
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