Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Vocational Training Fund faces teething problems

The Vocational Training Fund (VTF) is wrought with many challenges in its endeavors to fund vocational training in the country.

Addressing the Botswana Training Authority (BOTA) breakfast seminar for stakeholders at Fairgrounds recently, VTF Administrator, Kelesitse Mooketsi, says the newly established programme, which was established to enhance and provide quality assurance in vocational training, is now being targeted by opportunists who want to make money off it.

He said among the challenges faced by the fund are bogus claim submissions, use of claim processing agents as well as the use of non- accredited Training providers. Mooketsi says they also have had scenarios where training providers have been allowed to act as claiming agents to get money for their services from the fund, adding that this tendency leaves the fund and those using the services of such training providers open to abuse from unscrupulous people.

Mooketsi says while they are not against the use of claiming agents, it is important that companies or institutions engaging claiming agents should formally inform BOTA so as to avoid any problems that may arise.

The VTF administrator also expressed concern at the credibility of some trainers coming into the country. He says trainers from outside the country have found loopholes within the system and are using it to give training, which it is not accredited to provide.

“Some of these trainers will tell us they are accredited but their certificates do not show the scope of their accreditation or whether they can provide the training needed,” he informed seminar attendants.

The VTF administrator called upon associations, institutions and employers to first confirm that the training provider they need is fully accredited before they can bring him into the country. He also decried lack of commitment by local industry to provide further training for their employees despite the existence of the fund, which helps support vocational skills and skills development by employers.

Earlier when welcoming the stakeholders to the seminar, BOTA’s acting Chief Executive Officer, Mrs Tebogo Motswagole, called upon employers and associations to take advantage of BOTA services and help support skills development in Botswana.

“BOTA was established to develop, coordinate and promote Vocational Training System. Our duty is to monitor and evaluate the system being developed and give government policy advice on issues of vocational training. Faced with the task, it is befitting that BOTA develop and maintain partnerships and networks that will ensure development and implementation of a robust Vocational Training System,” she informed the seminar’s participants.

Motswagole says it is only through the input of stakeholders, like associations, institutions and employers that BOTA’s task of assuring quality training can be achieved. The acting BOTA CEO assured stakeholders that by contributing towards quality vocational training, they will also be ‘contributing towards the Vision 2016 pillars of an educated and informed nation as well as a productive and innovative nation.’

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