1.1 What happens in the case where employers offer only limited support to a student, what can be done to intervene?
Principle: The task book guides the workplace programme developed by the employer.
Recommendation: The lecturer/WIL manager/employer liaison assists the employer on identifying opportunities for the student to complete the activities in the task book.
It is therefore necessary to visit new employers beforehand and assess what they can offer a student. A useful tool to use is the work schedule document in the employer guide. If the employer liaison sits with the employer to co-develop this document it will be clear which activities are possible to complete in the workplace. The employer can then also pre-plan creating opportunities for the student/s. If the workplace offers limited experience then a second host employer must be identified to complete the experience. This should only apply to technically orientated programmes, such as EIC. Reviews over the past three years have shown that generic programmes such as Business Studies can be implemented at a single employer. The 2014 implementation of the Tourism task book findings are similar. Planned monitoring of the student and how s/he is progressing is important to determine how the WBE is progressing. The college WIL coordinator or Academic Manager involved should intervene if there is a problem. Part of the planning and preparing should be to take into account risks to placement and what are the alternatives.
1.2 Who is responsible to help the student on WBE ICASS between SSACI and the college?
Principle: The College is responsible for assisting the student to successfully complete the WBE for ICASS. The college must therefore assign roles and responsibilities to co2.
1.3 Why would workplaces consider getting involved in such a project – what is in it for the workplace?
Workplaces gain knowledge on content of specific programmes offered by Colleges.They can provide input on possible gaps and suggested improvements needed in the learning content to align industry needs with vocational programmes to make students more employable when completing their studies.Workplaces get to know potential strong employees for future employment. In SSACI,s experience, access to potential tried and trusted employees is usually the primary benefit of providing WBE for employers.Opportunities for companies to get involved through corporate social investment (development of the previously disadvantaged groups and enhance skills development = BEEE scorecard) llege staff and develop a measurable action plan. SSACI’s role is to assist the college to implement the WBE/ICASS.
1.4 Do employers qualify for any incentives?
No, employers do not qualify for any incentives.
1.5 Is there a national advocacy plan for student placements in workplaces?
No, there is not a specific plan for the SSACI WBE placement project in place. However, at a broader level the DHET is strongly advocating student placement in industry for workplace experience. For instance, the minister has addressed this issue in various speeches at a number of meetings and forums. In addition, SETAs are expected to raise awareness of the need for employers to host students in their sectors.
1.6 Are employers expected to assess students?
No, an employer signs off the workbook of the student as proof that the student actually did get exposure to the specific aspects dealt with in the workplace as stipulated and recorded in the workbook and to confirm the factual correctness of the recorded information – this however is not assessment. The mentor at the workplace may complete an evaluation questionnaire but this is not a separate assessment of the student’s WBE. It further informs the student’s experience.
1.7 How to handle workplaces that have outdated equipment?
Principle: In the context of understanding the industry and preparing for the workplace, it is necessary to get to know all kinds of work processes and resources used by various employers to complete their core business. It is equally important to understand old equipment as it is to know new equipment and technology – not all workplaces have the latest technology.
1.8 Some hotels want students for a longer placement exceeding 5 days – how to handle this situation?
Principle: WBE must not compromise teaching and learning. SSACI recommends 5 to 10 days during college recess because it is manageable on the NCV timetable and falls within the mid-year break. This does not rule out any other placements and possibilities. The college management and lecturers must decide what is permissible – this could be more than 5 days, during term time and in more than one cycle in the academic year.
1.9 Can WIL/WBE approach (on-course) also extend to NATED programmes since 18 months WBE is difficult for students to secure? This will help them to set up networks.
WBE can be included in the NATED Programmes. Easier with Business Programmes because of the semester and recess periods on the time-table. This is difficult to achieve in Engineering – trimester courses. There is no time during the trimester and the recess takes place after the trimesters.
1.10 Can SSACI provide a tool to moderate the task books?
Umalusi moderate the taskbooks. Will have to investigate further with colleges in this regard. Some of the colleges have been moderating the task books and SSACI can perhaps encourage colleges to share their experiences of moderating - Colleges with experience in implementing and marking the task books could develop a draft moderation tool for comment by Umalusi.
2.1 Procurement of PPE on time to campuses (notes).
Procurement must be taken on board like all other college procurement.
2.2 Who is funding transport of students?
College must assign a budget and provide funding for this or apply to SETA’s or NSF for funding.
2.3 Provision of stipends – what is the college’s policy on this?
Must be arranged as part of the preparation for WBE engagement (before placement activity) and funding allocated for it.
2.4 Provision for safety of students - how can this be managed?
Colleges should provide WBE insurance for all students going to the workplace.
2.5 Who is responsible for developing contract between company and the college?
The college is responsible. This could be the role of the partnerships manager or WIL coordinator.
2.6 How to fund WBE if companies are a far distance from the campus/college? ( Rural areas).
The college must apply for funding – since accommodation and travel will have to be funded.
2.7 Can DHET district offices support and monitor colleges’ implementation and progress on WIL?
New roles and responsibilities are expected of the regional offices – and these are to be decided by DHET national. Until this is established, the province can play a useful role in monitoring and supporting colleges to achieve all their WIL objectives.
2.8 Can colleges employ a full-time and dedicated WIL coordinator?
Yes. If the college has the budget/funds to employ. Best practice on WBE indicates the need for a dedicated WIL coordinator who drives WIL in the college.
2.9 Does a College need dedicated staff to implement SSACI WBE workbooks?
Implementing WBE is a time consuming process and colleges need to allocate staff time to this. Staff time can be allocated through the appointment of dedicated staff and / or reorganising the of staff members involved so that they have time to engage in WBE activities. To effectively manage WBE implementation colleges also need a management plan.
2.10 How does a College ensure that students are accepted at workplaces?
Colleges are expected to contact and communicate beforehand with workplaces to ensure well organized placement of students and implementation of the workbooks. Students may also use personal contacts to gain workplace experience e.g. contacts of parents. A formal agreement must be reached between the company and the college which clearly details the ‘placement’ arrangements. Students must be able to contact a college person should they run into problems at the workplace and if they are treated unfairly.
2.11 Must a lecturer go and assess in the workplace after the student’s workplace experience?
No, the lecturer marks the completed workbook submitted by the student.
2.12 Where a student is registered for less than 4 core subjects in NC(V) programme how does the workbooks apply?
Please remember the emphasis is on the workplace experience in totality for the student and not on the completion of the workbook, irrelevant of the fact that the student has already passed a subject/s or not. In a workplace there are not separate subjects – the student needs exposure to all aspects in the workplace. A student should complete the whole workbook to record the experience gained during the placement.
Although he passed a subject this would be his/her first opportunity to actually deal with the practical application of what was learned and must reflect the learning he/she gained in the workplace.The lecturer may only mark the parts of the workbook applicable to the subjects for which the student is registered for. A pass mark in an examination is no proof that a student knows all or enough or doesn’t need more knowledge through practical exposure.
2.13 How can staff members deal with management who are unwilling to spend money?
SSACI and DHET can’t take responsibility or interfere in internal management and staff relations. One condition of participating in this project is the requirement to submit to SSACI and DHET a project plan and budget. The implementation of the plan is the responsibility of the college. However, colleges are coming under increasing pressure for the DHET to provide student WBE and must now meet pre-set placement targets and report on these. This pressure is forcing college management to begin to take WBE seriously and this includes providing a budget and securing/identifying funds for it.
2.14 In the programme ‘Finance Economics and Accounting’ the financial information is sometimes sensitive to expose students to and the software may pose challenges – how should this aspect be dealt with?
Colleges must discuss this issue of confidentiality and specific software with employers before students are placed to clarify the needs and the strategies that will be followed. A possible suggestion could be that students are exposed to past information that was already submitted to SARS, the owners and other stakeholders e.g. bank managers and figures need not be current.
2.15 May students use non-registered businesses, e.g. hawkers, flea market, taxi associations?
No. The problem with using non-registered businesses for WBE is that it is harder to guarantee that: (1) students will obtain the kind of work experience required in their field of study, and (2), the work environment will be a safe one. Key questions colleges should ask about any potential host employer for WBE are:
• Can the workplace offer opportunities for learning experience and exposure within the context of what the student is studying?
• Will the workplace be able to manage the student’s learning experience properly?
• Can the task book be completed satisfactorily?
• Will the student be safe? (There are huge liability/risk issues with WBE and non-registered companies are very risky. For instance, there will be little protection of students from sexual harassment.)
Colleges that have campuses in areas that have few formal businesses may need to look at accommodating students in towns so that they can get the kind of WBE they need in businesses that are suitable. This has been the strategy of some colleges that SSACI has worked with that have rural campuses.