The importance of learner assessment before commencing AET

Requirement: AET ABET as part of the skills development strategy

AET – Adult Education and Training and ABET – Adult Basic Education and Training are one and the same. My client, that operates in the tourism industry across South Africa, required Adult Education and Training (AET, also known as ABET) as part of the workplace skills plan (WSP) set out by the organisation. To reach the BEE goals it is necessary for my client to train adults in the workplace to increase their skills in literacy and numeracy.

Product Introduced: Communication in English as the starting point

After an initial placement assessment, I chose to recommend the AET ABET learning area known as Communication in English as the starting point for the skills development programme. Two groups of 15 employees each embarked on full-time training on weekdays run by a skilled facilitator and the first part of the training will be completed after 120 learning hours. The examinations will be done through the Independent Examinations Board (IEB) at the end of the training programme.

Expert opinion: Learner assessment is important

Many organisations embark on AET for the sake of compliance with the skills development element on the BEE scorecard. This often results in failed attempts of employee development because employees are randomly chosen for the training project. Conducting a learner assessment is therefore an important step in the skills development process.
At Triple E Training we make sure that the employees actually need AET ABET before we embark on the training project with our clients. Our learner assessment determines the current skills and abilities of the employees and allows them to be place on the correct AET level within the General Education and Training (GET) band. It is a pen and paper assessment and the results also indicate the pace at which the employee can be expected to learn. Below are two examples of individual performance graphs drawn up from the results of the placement assessment.
The first candidate has a lower literacy level in English than the second candidate and, although they both have a higher than average learning speed, ideally should be placed in different AET level groups. This is why, after the assessment, it was decided to place the 30 learners in two groups of 15. One group on AET level 1 and the other on AET level 2. Once all the candidates have reached a satisfactory level of literacy, the 30 learners will commence with numeracy skills development.

Call to action: Triple E Training – Your training partner of choice

With more than two decades’ experience Triple E Training has become the training partner of choice for many organisations in South Africa. For my client it is no different. Because we are thorough in our placement assessment, and because we conduct training awareness sessions with the selected staff and their union representatives, our AET programme not only helps your organisation meet the criteria of the skills development element of the BEE scorecard but also assures the success rate of the programme. Learners who successfully complete the AET programme can be developed further, resulting in a flourishing succession planning project for your organisation.


At the cost of R120k my client, that operates in the tourism industry, embarked on a skills development journey with a group of low-skilled employees. The AET programme implemented in phase 1 entails two groups of 15 learners each who will receive training by a skilled facilitator in Communication in English before moving on to phase 2: numeracy training. Through conducting a learner assessment before commencement of the AET programme we were able to group the employees together to ensure the success of skills development programme.

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