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“The re­spon­si­bil­ity for ca­reer guid­ance-re­lated ser­vices in South Africa is frag­mented across a range of gov­ern­ment de­part­ments, which makes policy de­vel­op­ment ex­tremely dif­fi­cult. In­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ence has shown that ca­reer guid­ance policy can­not be de­vel­oped and im­ple­mented in iso­la­tion; it needs to be part of a co­her­ent co­or­di­na­tion of other rel­e­vant poli­cies re­lat­ing to ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing, skills de­vel­op­ment, the labour mar­ket, so­cial eq­uity and broader de­vel­op­ment.”

(South African Qual­i­fi­ca­tions Author­ity 2012: 26)

Since 2010, gov­ern­ment has been work­ing to­wards a vi­sion of en­sur­ing that “All cit­i­zens of all ages have ac­cess to qual­ity ca­reer in­for­ma­tion and ca­reer de­vel­op­ment ser­vices through­out their lives so that they are able to make bet­ter and more in­formed ca­reer and life de­ci­sions that de­liver high lev­els of em­ploy­ment and help to in­crease sus­tain­able eco­nomic growth in the coun­try” (De­part­ment of Higher Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing 2017: 11).

Rel­e­vant and qual­ity ca­reer in­for­ma­tion in the coun­try is not just a need but a hu­man right as en­shrined in the Con­sti­tu­tion of the Repub­lic of South Africa (Act No. 108 of 1996) which states that “Ev­ery cit­i­zen has the right to choose their trade, oc­cu­pa­tion or pro­fes­sion freely”. Out­come 5 of the Gov­ern­ment Pro­gramme of Ac­tion 2014–2019 is con­cerned with de­vel­op­ing a skilled and ca­pa­ble work­force to sup­port an in­clu­sive growth path. This fur­ther high­lights the need for ca­reer de­vel­op­ment in build­ing the econ­omy of the coun­try.

Through co­op­er­a­tion and in­put from the three spheres of gov­ern­ment and the pub­lic sec­tor, the Na­tional Policy for an In­te­grated Ca­reer De­vel­op­ment Sys­tem for South

Africa was de­vel­oped and gazetted on 20 April 2017 (Vol. 622, No. 40795). The policy guides the im­ple­men­ta­tion of a co­or­di­nated and in­te­grated ca­reer de­vel­op­ment sys­tem across all spheres of gov­ern­ment. In launch­ing the policy on 28 June 2018 at the An­nual Ca­reer De­vel­op­ment Stake­holder Con­fer­ence, the Min­is­ter of Higher Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing Mrs Naledi Pan­dor em­pha­sised the im­por­tance of un­der­stand­ing the policy as a na­tional policy with lead­er­ship pro­vided across gov­ern­ment.

The De­part­ment of Higher Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing (DHET) pro­vides lead­er­ship on the na­tional co­or­di­na­tion func­tion and de­vel­op­ing shared ca­reer de­vel­op­ment ser­vices tech­nol­ogy plat­forms such as the Na­tional Ca­reer Advice

Por­tal (NCAP), the Na­tional Ca­reer Helpline, the Khetha Ra­dio Pro­gramme and the Ca­reer-help web­site. Ev­ery gov­ern­ment de­part­ment and agency has a re­spon­si­bil­ity to co­or­di­nate and pro­vide ca­reer de­vel­op­ment ser­vices in their re­spec­tive sec­tor. The same ap­plies to the DHET for the Post-School Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing sec­tor, over and above its na­tional co­or­di­na­tion func­tion.

The In­ter­de­part­men­tal Ca­reer De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee is re­spon­si­ble for pro­vid­ing strate­gic in­put to­wards the ef­fec­tive co­or­di­na­tion of ca­reer de­vel­op­ment ser­vices for gov­ern­ment. It is com­posed of the de­part­ments of Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion, Labour, So­cial De­vel­op­ment, Pub­lic Ser­vice and Ad­min­is­tra­tion, and Higher Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing.

To en­sure the in­volve­ment of all stake­hold­ers, the Na­tional Ca­reer De­vel­op­ment Fo­rum – a struc­ture made up of the pub­lic ser­vice sec­tor, pri­vate sec­tor and civil so­ci­ety sec­tor – has been es­tab­lished. The Na­tional Ca­reer De­vel­op­ment Fo­rum sub-struc­tures are the Ca­reer De­vel­op­ment Gov­ern­ment Fo­rum, Ca­reer De­vel­op­ment Sec­tor Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing Author­i­ties Fo­rum, and the Na­tional Con­sul­ta­tive Fo­rum.

The Khetha trade­mark is a com­mon iden­tity used through the Im­ple­men­ta­tion Pro­to­col Agree­ment within gov­ern­ment and mem­o­ran­dum of agree­ment en­tered into be­tween the DHET and other stake­hold­ers. The policy ad­vo­cates for the es­tab­lish­ment of agree­ments to fa­cil­i­tate col­lab­o­ra­tion and syn­ergy in the pro­vi­sion of ca­reer de­vel­op­ment ser­vices.

The pro­fes­sion­al­i­sa­tion of ca­reer de­vel­op­ment ser­vices in the coun­try war­rants the es­tab­lish­ment of a pro­fes­sional body. The DHET wel­comes ini­tia­tives from in­ter­ested par­ties that are keen to pro­mote the vi­sion of pro­fes­sion­al­is­ing ca­reer de­vel­op­ment and ready to take the re­spon­si­bil­ity of a pro­fes­sional body to ap­ply to the South African Qual­i­fi­ca­tions Author­ity (SAQA).

In launch­ing the policy, Min­is­ter Pan­dor em­pha­sized that ca­reer de­vel­op­ment ser­vices as a life­long learn­ing process are crit­i­cal for re­al­is­ing de­vel­op­ment of a ca­pa­ble work­force and an in­clu­sive growth path for the coun­try. As gov­ern­ment, let us work to­gether in sup­port of the Na­tional Policy for an In­te­grated Ca­reer De­vel­op­ment Sys­tem for South Africa.

For more in­for­ma­tion, email Ms N Mfenyana at or Ms T Jansen van Vu­uren at Jansen­van­vu­

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