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The ISETT SETA is an acronym that stands for Information Systems, Electronics and Telecommunications Technologies, Sector Education and Training Authority, a South African agency devoted to increasing the skills of its citizens through job experience and technical training. Its function addresses the shortage of employees who possess the technical skills needed to promote economic growth in the country. ISETT SETA offers learnership and internship programs via partnerships with participating companies.
Learnership opportunities, which combine practical, hands-on learning with more theoretical areas of study, are open to all South African citizens who want to become certified in information communications technologies. The participant obtains on-the-job training as a temporary employee of a firm, which commonly covers one year. He or she also earns credit in classes that teach theories used in the technology sector. Those who participate in a learnership program sign a contract with a training provider, the employer, and ISETT SETA.
Internships are available to unemployed university graduates who are under 35 years old and seek work experience. The length of the internship and position are determined by individual employers in each region of South Africa. Some interns are offered permanent positions by the participating employer after the trial period.
Information communications technology programs are funded through payroll deductions in South Africa and monitored by the department of labor. The country hopes to address the need for critical skills when the demand grows more quickly than the supply of qualified job applicants. One goal of the program aims to improve South Africa’s link with the rest of the world.
ISETT SETA identifies firms conducting research and development in technology and monitors the skills these companies need to be successful. The organization also evaluates export companies to increase business opportunities. Part of the coursework includes education on Internet crime and security measures to address the problem. A segment of the learnership program includes autoimmune disease education for every participant and is aimed at youth who have dropped out of school.
The training and education authority hopes to produce citizens with high-level skills, moderate-level skills, and entry-level skills to address all segments of the business community. It aims to fast-track information technology throughout the country through mentorship. Participants not only gain hands-on experience, they might learn life skills, such as taking responsibility for work produced and getting along with coworkers.
A report prepared by ISETT SETA outlines challenges to goals to educate South African citizens in communication technologies. Many citizens cannot afford computers and other equipment to use currently available information systems. In rural areas, there may not be enough training providers to accommodate the number of students seeking an internship or learnership. Some of these outlying regions also lack Internet connections and access to worldwide communication.