Making the future count


“Some have described Usain Bolt’s recent 100m victory in Beijing as his best race ever. What is very clear is that he always gives it his all in every race that he runs. The same can be said for Fasset. For every incantation of the National Skills Development Strategy, and during each Seta licencing period, Fasset has always given its best. This mindset has enabled Fasset to celebrate fifteen years of delivery, at the very highest level,” says Fasset CEO, Cheryl James.

Looking back over the past fifteen years, James says Fasset has made an indelible difference to skills levels within the finance and accounting services sector and the economy as a whole through the Seta’s learnerships, projects and lifelong learning interventions.

As at 31 March 2015 Fasset had registered 32 learnerships. Fasset learnerships range from NQF level 3 to NQF level 8 and offer various entry and exit points for accounting technicians and professionals alike. “Fasset learnerships are closely aligned to skills needs within the workplace. As a result, every learner, who has completed a Fasset learnership has been placed in employment,” James informs.

Since Fasset’s establishment in 2000, 65 533 learners have been registered on Fasset learnerships and 46 459 learners have completed their learnerships. “Put in perspective, the University of Johannesburg currently has a student enrolment of around 48 000 students. This means the number of learners who have completed Fasset learnerships over the past fifteen years, is very close to the current student enrolment at the University of Johannesburg. This is a significant achievement,” she contends.  

Fasset has adopted a pipeline approach to skills development. Learners are supported from school level through career awareness programmes, to employment in the workplace. The Seta also funds innovative bridging programmes to ‘bridge’ learners into university for admission for a BCom or BCompt degree, place unemployed graduates into employment and enable young people to obtain a professional qualification.

“Fasset was the first Seta to fund ‘development’ projects. These projects have made a huge difference in individual’s lives. Fasset is very proud of the fact that as a direct result of these interventions, many young South Africans have qualified as finance and accounting professionals. Others have been able to find sustainable employment and build robust careers as a direct result of these interventions. These programmes have also played a cardinal role in helping to address skills shortages within the sector,” James told Achiever.

The Seta’s lifelong learning interventions have also had a very positive impact on skills levels within its sector. “Fasset was the first Seta to offer lifelong learning interventions. Since the sector is a predominantly SMME sector, training budgets are often tiny. SMME employers have very limited capacity to ensure that all of their staff are trained on an ongoing basis. Fasset’s lifelong learning interventions plug this gap. They play a pivotal role in ensuring that skills levels, at all levels, remain current. Almost 140 073 delegates have attended these events since 2000. This is virtually three times the current student enrolment at the University of Johannesburg,” James observes.

Historically, the finance and accounting services sector is one of the least transformed sectors in the South African economy. Over the past fifteen years, Fasset has attempted to fast-track transformation through the Seta’s funding policies and the disbursement of grants. Considerable inroads have been made to transform the demographic profile of learners on Fasset learnerships.

“In Fasset’s second year of operation (1 April 2001 to 31 March 2002) 29% of learners were Black. I am very pleased to report that this has increased to 72%,” she remarks.

James says there are many factors that contribute to Fasset’s sterling track record of delivery. “A strong Board, coupled with strict adherence to good governance has always provided a solid foundation for delivery. The fact that Fasset has obtained a clean audit opinion from the Auditor-General of South Africa every year since inception attests to the fact that Fasset is a well-run organisation. Fasset is very cognisant of the fact that none of these achievements would have been possible without dedicated staff, outstanding training providers and the full support of all stakeholders within its sector,” James concludes.



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This edition

Issue 58