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Work-Integrated Learning: A Perspective from SSACI.

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1 Work-Integrated Learning: A Perspective from SSACI

2 Elements of WIL: Learning that takes place through the medium of work Definitive element is the presence or absence of real work Work is real if done to a productive end, not merely to facilitate learning Real work may include sheltered practice but seldom simulation Work may be real even when it is not performed in a formal workplace

3 Clarifies students’ career aspirations Improves academic & practical learning Develops vocational competence Improves employability (c.f. SA research) Exerts positive ‘washback effect’ on college curricula Promotes meaningful college-industry partnerships Benefits of on-course WIL

4 Why WIL matters to students: Jobs Workplace behavioural skills Post- secondary education/ training Occupational skills as practised in the workplace Workplace connections

5 Why WIL matters to institutions: Better inputs lead to…. improved outputs Pass rate Throughput rate Employability Instructors: Industry-experienced Curricula: Industry-aligned Students: Workplace experienced

6 WIL capacity in SA: SA economy currently comprises ±6’500’000 skilled or semi-skilled jobs in 560’000 tax-paying (i.e. profitable) companies At 7% of FTE headcount, or one trainee per company, SA employers could therefore host ±500’000 full-time trainees per year, or a million for 6 months or 2 million for 3 months So, the real problem is not industry capacity but lack of employer willingness

7 Business pays taxes to fund skills training But doesn’t get what it wants, so… It pays a skills levy to fund skills training But doesn’t get what it wants, so… It hires private training companies at treble the price Which cuts off public colleges, so… The public training system never improves So… How business is getting it wrong:

8 Obstacles to WIL Lack of employer participation is the single greatest constraint on WIL training in SA: a mindset problem Colleges & employers find it difficult to engage with one another Performance standards at colleges are generally unrelated to industry, especially for practical skills Govmt policies affecting WIL need to be more coherent & better aligned within & across ministries Administration of WIL in colleges, companies & SETAs is alarmingly weak

9 Where to now? WIL must be seen as essential for aligning TVET system to industry and to improving students’ employment prospects Expanding WIL is therefore in the interests of the state, the economy, TVET institutions & students To expand WIL, a mindset change is required of industry &, therefore, the business case must be made Organisation & funding of WIL must be built into public TVET programmes

10 Thank you! WIL promotes economic growth

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