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Does Wholesale and Retail SETA Violate Legislation and Fail to Protect the Public?

W&R SETA’s  defective leadership condones practices that exploit and victimise the youth and vulnerable.  W&R SETA fails legislation and the public by not knowing legislation and not monitoring industry stakeholders or engaging when the public raise concerns. The DHET must note the W&R SETA neglect of duty and inability to perform.

Open letter to the W&R SETA

We the Public have a Right to Ask

Dear Wholesale and Retail SETA

It’s been noted that in your sector:

  1. employers and their contracted recruiters publish learnership recruitment adverts withholding stipend information
    • this places applicants at an asymmetric disadvantage during negotiations as firms refuse to reveal what they have committed to.
    • What is the basis for offering each learner a different stipend?
    • Withholding stipend amounts is not pro-poor and a direct violation of Section 23.1 of our Constitution which states ‘Everyone is entitled to fair labour practice.’
    • Firms in your sector have turned stipends into ‘bargaining chips.’
  2. W&R SETA does not impose an adherence to skills development accreditation quality standards in the wholesale and retail sector.
    • To be accredited, providers must submit recruitment policies and processes, yet sector adverts show a lack of quality compliance.
    • W&R SETA is contravening SAQA policy and thereby their own ETQA by not ensuring learnership adverts conform to NQF standards, quality assurance, promote access, inclusion, fairness and socio-economic development opportunity.

Learnership Adverts and Obscure Compensation

Withholding information is an unfair asymmetric advantage leaving vulnerable applicants poorer than what they were before they applied for a position they cannot afford to take.

People don’t only apply for the sake of money, however applicants must make a judgement about which opportunities are worth pursuing. Why are applicants denied this right when they must carry the cost burden of attending an interview?

Learnerships were originally conceived as pro-poor economic development interventions that create access to further education and training and job exposure for the poor. Why is W&R SETA permitting these interventions to be used as cheap employment opportunities for firms? Is W&R SETA achieving success at the expense of our poor and the youth?

Most youth, in particular, will accept low offers to gain experience and to learn, does W&R SETA permit firms to exploit this via learnerhips? It sure does seem like they condone it.


Read how we succeeded in lobbying BANKSETA and Kelly Recruitment to recall, revise and republish their original anti-poor learnership advert 


People Suffer When W&R SETA Accreditation Standards are Low and Subjective

The W&R SETA requires that accredited providers submit recruitment policies. Why is there no standard ensuring the provision of the following information in their learnership adverts?:

  1. Name of qualification
  2. Entry criteria
  3. Name of accredited provider
  4. Accredited provider’s registration number
  5. Stipend amount
  6. Career paths the qualification and experience will prepare learners for

These demarcated standards would ensure better protection of the public and that firms operate and deliver within the confines of SAQA policy, the Constitution and labour legislation.

Job applicants must invest in their appearance, transport and have an available communication device (telephone / internet access). The process of pursuing and attending interviews comes at great personal cost. Air time, shampoo, shoes – believe it or not, when you’ve never been employed and have no parental support, these are luxury items. 


Submit A Review of the Truworths ‘Learnership’ Advert  W&RSETA

Submitted for W&R SETA review is the following learnership recruitment advert promoted on LinkedIn. Truworths uses social media platforms to promote their ‘learnerships’ but fails to respond to questions interrogating their offers. Kindly respond yourself as the quality assurance body and explain why you are sharing and promoting this advert on Facebook.

Just how low does your incompetence stoop?

Kindly answer the following, W&R:

  1. Is Truworths an Accredited Training Provider, if not, what gives Truworths the right to place this ad?
  2. Tell us why this is an advert for a learnership and not a job?
  3. If it’s a learnership, why are there no qualification entry criteria and which NQF Level is the qualification on? Why do you not have this as a standard within the accreditation criteria? 
  4. There is no qualification achievement mentioned – is this an acceptable W&R SETA standard? If so, how is the public to determine when the offer is legitimate or a scam? 
  5. Remuneration description does not conform to ‘stipend’ norms – does the W&R SETA condone a firm that makes compensation this vague for new market entrants?:

Reward strategies are aimed at attracting, motivating and retaining employees and at promoting a sustainable high performance culture within the business. Remuneration practices are closely linked to the Group’s business philosophy, purpose, values  and vision and to the achievement of Group, team and individual performance objectives.

Truworths is committed to transformation and meeting objectives of the Employment Equity Act. Meeting our employment equity goals and targets will be taken into account in our recruitment decisions.

Favourable consideration will be given to people living with disabilities.

The Department of Higher Education and Training has repeated warnings to the public to check training provider credentials, how is the public to check credentials when none are displayed?

Answer, W&R SETA! We want to know!

Advert Text:

Job Title Learnership Store Consultant
Location Cape Town,ZA
Organization Name SDA Truworths
Company Description  GET TO KNOW US
Truworths aims to be recognized as an employer of choice in fashion retailing and continues to invest in its people to ensure sustainable performance and business continuity.
The Group’s values define the way in which management interacts with employees and also guide human resource practices. These values are incorporated in everyday working life at Truworths, from recruitment to training and development, employee relations and recognition programmes. Through regular performance appraisals, management not only measures performance against goals, but also monitors how employees are acting in accordance with these values.At Truworths, you’ll find a dynamic business environment where our staff is constantly challenged to reinvent the way we do business in order to keep us at the forefront of the South African fashion industry.
Take a walk through our stores or offices and you’ll encounter an infectious love of fashion and a tangible will to succeed among the people who make up our business – both of which are key to keeping us at least one step ahead of the competition.OUR VISION FOR OUR EMPLOYEES: 
‘I am totally committed to Truworths because I am always encouraged to offer innovative ideas which contribute to the ultimate purpose of Truworths. As a result Truworths is generous in recognizing my role as an effective team member.’In the words of our CEO, Michael Mark, “The theme is simple…it’s all about fashion. This straightforward concept is a powerful reminder about what Truworths is all about – fashion.” (Annual Financial Statement)
Brief Description   The successful candidate:
  • Will be placed on a 12 month Learnership Programme in a Truworths store
  • Will be expected to work within the trading hours of the store in which they are placed, including weekend work.
Key Responsibilities  Assist customers
  • Merchandising
  • Payments and purchases on the POS system
  • Opening new accounts
  • Maintaining or controlling stock losses
  • Customer feedback
  • Building quality relationships with customers
  • Commitment to the Learnership Programme
Requirements  Excellent communication skills
  • Customer service orientated
  • Willingness to learn
  • Commitment
Remuneration   Reward strategies are aimed at attracting, motivating and retaining employees and at promoting a sustainable high performance culture within the business. Remuneration practices are closely linked to the Group’s business philosophy, purpose, values  and vision and to the achievement of Group, team and individual performance objectives.Truworths is committed to transformation and meeting objectives of the Employment Equity Act. Meeting our employment equity goals and targets will be taken into account in our recruitment decisions.

Favourable consideration will be given to people living with disabilities.

Professional Area Store Operations
Specific Qualifications

Draconian Firms Refuse to Respond Publicly

Below is the post shared on LinkedIn to promote the advertised learnership. When Truworths advertised a similar position earlier this year, I questioned the lack of stipend information. They offered no apology for ignoring the questions for 6 days and when they eventually responded, it was to email a threat and forbid further questioning.

It appears that this is the standard Truworths modus oprandi,  that questions regarding the legitimacy of their adverts are not permissible and can result in legal action being taken against one.

W&R SETA, DHET and Truworths should understand that I will not be silenced or dumbed down. Do things correctly or we ARE on opposite sides of the fight against poverty and exploitation and I will continue drawing attention to questionable behaviors, practices and attitudes perpetuated by you.

Does the W&R SETA support the stance that firms do not have to be held accountable to the public and the skills development community when advertising and promoting learnerships?

And even if you do, the public has a right to ask questions and demand answers from each of you.

W&R SETA , DHET you are welcome to contact me but I’m tired of  chasing after salaried asses. I’m not paid to raise these issues and teach you, respect my time and the fact that I’m furious at the lack of protection for the public and the trivialization and vilification of our legislation. Pasopa! 

Let’s get it together W&R SETA!

Regards

Leonie Hall – pro-poor agitator


Kelly Kills Unfair BANKSETA Learnership Ad

Are Learnership Stipends Fair? Trapped Between Business and Black Tax

Public Enemy: Job Ads No Pay information

Truworths Job Ads Against Public Interest?

How the public feels about non-disclosure of salaries in adverts

No Salary Advertised? That’s unfair labour practice. On your feet SA!

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