Ian Yoell is the South African voice of Edexcel, the UK's largest awarding body offering academic and vocational qualifications. These are his thoughts on the impact of international recognition for local qualifications.
How did the partnership between Edexcel and FoodBev come into being?
Edexcel began operating in South Africa about four and a half years ago. At the time, we invited all the Setas to attend a function to let them know what we were able to do for them. Over the next couple of years, FoodBev SETA did some investigations and was then ready to take the step of becoming a formally accredited partner with Edexcel.
How did the parties go about selecting the South African qualifications that would be endorsed by Edexcel?
The qualifications were chosen by FoodBev SETA as they are the five most popular qualifications. Once the pilot is completed and if the Seta is happy with the result we will look at rolling out this offering to all FoodBev programmes.
What are the current global trends in the 'internationalisation' of qualifications?
There is currently a very strong trend towards the 'internationalisation' of qualifications from different countries. This is not because one qualification is necessarily better than another, but rather testament to the nature of international business, and the demands that are being placed on not only the employee, but also the employer to have qualifications that are internationally recognised and internationally benchmarked for quality standards. As completion in the global workplace rises, employers and employees alike want to know that they are equipped and in the best possible position to take advantage of the growing international market.
How do South African qualifications in general compare to their international counterparts?
In general the standard of South African qualifications is very good. We do not see our role as replacing the local requirements or FoodBev SETA's ETQA, but rather as offering added value in quality assuring the Seta's quality assurance standards and confirming that they are indeed at an international level. Due to our massive global presence, as part of the Pearson Company, we are able to assist with identifying best practices and international trends very early on.
What does the FoodBev/Edexcel arrangement mean to the employer who is taking his or her employees through the qualifications?
The true value to the employer is his confidence that the qualification his staff are undertaking through FoodBev SETA's training partners is indeed a world-class qualification and one that will equip the employee to be more productive and better skilled to tackle the daily requirements of his or her job.
… and to the employees who achieve the qualifications?
The employees can be proud of their achievements and know that they hold a world-class, locally recognised, but internationally backed, qualification. In economic times like these one of the best things people can do is invest in themselves through a structured programme of skills development. This will equip them to be more competitive in the job market and enable them to develop their skills further.
…and lastly, to the South African food and beverage sector as a whole?
FoodBev SETA's initiative in searching out international quality assurance bodies has opened the sector to internationally accepted programmes that are locally relevant.
Page Created: Thursday, March 25, 2010