Amongst many of its roles the BANKSETA aims to popularise banking as a profession for black aspirant professionals and university graduates, said CEO Max Makhubalo, after Transform SA (TSA) asked him about the role of his organisation in transforming the banking sector. “Secondly, our role has been to provide training on scarce and critical skills in Accounting and Actuarial Sciences,” Makhubalo said in a recent exclusive interview with TSA.
“There is an intensive International Executive Development Programme (IEDP) conducted in collaboration with the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) and the New York University. These are aimed at training investment bankers and stock brokers. People that participate in these programmes are selected by the banks,” says Makhubalo. By doing so they get to be exposed to investment houses in the US like JP Morgan among others and learn how investment banking is done.
“Whatever people might think about the US, the country remains the hub of investment banking in the world,” says Makhubalo. He says these programmes are meant for residents and nonresident resident students and they are aimed at training members of disadvantaged communities on financial markets and stock broking. The selected people also get to spend a week in Ghana to see the nascent investment banking in a developing African country. The selection process is highly biased towards historically disadvantaged South Africans. These programmes take 85% of theseindividuals. Makhubalo says this process has been done in association with the banks because they sit on the BANKSETA’s governing structures and relevant committees.
The BANKSETA is one of South Africa’s most well run Sectoral Education and Training Authorities(SETAs) and provides sector-specific framework for the development of skills in the workplace. It was formed after the government identified skills development as a key requirement for economic growth in South Africa and for the economic empowerment of the previously disadvantaged majority.
Makhubalo says key challenges faced by the BANKSETA include the fact that South Africa’s school system continues to produce pupils that are not competent enough in Maths and Accounting. He says black African children making the quota for BCom and other degrees are still lower than their Indian and white counterparts. “Not many black African children have studied pure Mathematics. They only have Maths Literacy,” he says, adding that attempts to address this problem have been to put up resources centres to help teachers with Mathematics.
Turning to transformation within the BANKSETA, Makhubalo says the organisation is predominantly female and the recruitment has been deliberately aimed at this. ‘We have few males and few white people in the organisation. Africans are in the majority in all levels of the organisation,” Makhubalo says. The BANKSETA has not shied away from doing bold things. It has adopted a Netherlands model aimed at assisting people who have been working for many years but do not have qualifications in the banking sector. Through the BANKSETA’s efforts, the South African government is in the process of approving the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).