The role of ‘intermediaries’ in brokering training and building social compacts: Can sector skills authorities perform these roles?

  • André Kraak University of the Witwatersrand
Keywords: Functions of SETAs; compliance mode of working; intermediation; brokerage

Abstract

This article focuses on the modus operandi of the sector education and training authorities (SETAs) in South Africa – seen by many critics of the training system as largely driven by the regulatory pressures of financial compliance imposed on public-sector organisations by the all-powerful Public Finance Management Act 29 of 1999 (PFMA). The article proposes an alternative modus operandi, one informed by the literature on ‘intermediaries’, where the main function of such intermediary organisations is not financial compliance but the strategic ‘brokering’ of training compacts. The article first outlines the role of the SETAs and the problems with a compliance mode of working. In explaining the alternative of intermediation, the discussion considers some best practices of intermediation in South Africa, but concludes that such practices are not fully diffused across the entire training system. Why diffusion is so poor is revealed through interviews with leaders in the training system.1 The analysis concludes on a positive note, arguing that the ‘social compact’ politics being emphasised by the new South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, could usher in a more conducive environment for brokering training and job compacts.

Author Biography

André Kraak, University of the Witwatersrand

Andre Kraak is an Associate at the Centre for Researching Education and Labour (REAL) at the University of the Witwatersrand, teaching a master’s and doctoral programme on Sectors, Skills and the Economic Evolution of South Africa. Prior to this, he held the FP&MSETA-funded Research Chair in the Political Economy of Skills at REAL (2015–2018).

Published
2019-11-20
How to Cite
Kraak, A. (2019). The role of ‘intermediaries’ in brokering training and building social compacts: Can sector skills authorities perform these roles?. Journal of Vocational, Adult and Continuing Education and Training, 2(2), 61. https://doi.org/10.14426/jovacet.v2i2.72
Section
Articles