Abstracts and excerpts

Sector skills planning

Post-school pathways

Education to employment

Research projects

Forecasting skills demand

Labour Market Intelligence Project

Democratic post-schooling

HRDS review

Minister's projects

Wholesale & Retail sector

VEOP pilot

NQF-related research

Conferences and calls for papers

INAP conference

NQF research conference

Higher education review


Post-school statistics


Youth and skills


Research in the Wholesale and Retail sector

Andile Sipengane

The W&RSETA’s research agenda aims “to contribute to the social economic development and growth of the country by enabling education and training of the highest quality in the Wholesale and Retail Sector, to the benefit of employers, employees and learners.” The research agenda is being pursued through a number of interventions and research projects.

The following interventions are intended to enhance research within the sector:

  • Establishment of Retail Chairs within higher education Institutions to support research work for the W&RSETA and to facilitate the establishment of Wholesale and Retail Centres of Excellence
  • Establishment of a Qualifications Management Body (QMB) responsible for qualifications development
  • Awarding MBA and PhD bursaries to promote and support research.

An example of a completed research project follows. The comprehensive report is available upon request.

Research on learnership recruitment, selection and retention strategy

The W&RSETA aims to reduce the high learner dropout rate in the sector by at least 50% by March 2014. The W&RSETA therefore appointed Quest Staffing Solutions to develop a learnership recruitment, selection and retention strategy.

Research was conducted on the recruitment, selection and retention landscape in order to understand the factors contributing to the high rate of learner terminations and to develop a strategy aimed at reducing the high termination rate and to improve learner completion. The provider was furthermore required to capacitate W&RSETA staff on the learner recruitment and selection process and to play an advisory role during the implementation of the strategy.

The W&RSETA was in turn required to share the strategy with stakeholders and to monitor the implementation thereof.

The provider made the following core suggestions for improvement:

  • Learnerships must form part of comprehensive workforce planning in an organisation to prevent random placement of learners in the workplace resulting in idling which might cause termination from the programme.
  • Organisations must select learners with fitness for purpose in mind – there should be no distinction between the recruitment of permanent staff and that of learners.
  • A comprehensive human capital value chain should be a supporting mechanism for learnership initiatives in organisations.

Drop outs are inevitable in any sector. However they can be minimised or contained by ensuring the placement of the appropriate learner in the appropriate learning programme and the correct NQF level. The use of a learner placement tool during the recruitment of learners goes a long way to ensure that suitable learners are recruited who will remain on a programme.

Andile Sipengane is the Chief Officer for Qualifications and Research at the W&RSETA, email:


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Enquiries or contributions may be directed to: Nomakholwa Makaluza Tel: 012 312 5243 Email: Department of Higher Education and Training, 123 Francis Baard Street, Pretoria 0001