Biz-Community (Cape Town)

South Africa: Professional Bodies Urged to Assist Youth

Boksburg — Higher Education and Training Minister Dr Blade Nzimande has urged professional bodies to help nurture young talent and assist the youth to gain skills in their particular professional areas.

"I urge them to take this responsibility very seriously... to find ways to encourage their members to give opportunities to young people to learn on the job.

"I hope they will also take interns and learners in areas outside their particular professional disciplines, for example, interns or learner administrators, bookkeepers, IT specialists - all of whom are employed by various professional businesses," Nzimande said.

Nzimande was speaking on Tuesday at the launch of the Policy and Criteria for the Recognition of Professional Bodies and Registration of Professional Designation on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).

He acknowledged the 40 professional bodies who were the first group to be recognised in terms of the NQF Act of 2008.

The Policy and Criteria for the Recognition of Professional Bodies and the Registration of Professional Designations has been developed by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) as part of its mandate to further develop and implement the NQF.

In terms of Section 13 (1) (i) of the NQF, Act 67 of 2008, SAQA is required to:

- develop and implement policy and criteria for recognising a professional body and registering a professional designation for the purposes of this Act, after consultations with statutory and non-statutory bodies of expert practitioners in occupational fields, and;

- recognise a professional body and register its professional registration designation if the criteria contemplated have been met.

Congratulating the 40 professional bodies, Nzimande said he hoped that their recognition would contribute to strengthening social responsiveness and accountability within professions and promote the constant improvement of the professional work of their members.

"Professional bodies are key role players in the development and implementation of the education and training system, and of career paths in particular professions.

"The registration of professional bodies should help eliminate any confusion with regard to recognised professional bodies and bogus professional bodies or expert groups," Nzimande said.

SAQA CEO Joe Samuels said the NQF sought to accelerate the redress of the past unfair discrimination in education training and employment opportunities.

"Redress is a key imperative in the South African legislation, policy and regulatory environment and the NQF is no exception.

"It is critical that perceptions of exclusionary practices be addressed up front and that professions do not apply unjust policies and practices with regards to who gains access to a profession.

"It is also important that there is a common understanding and approach to these and other issues that facilitate the transformation of education and training within this sector," said Samuels.

SAnews.gov.za

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