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Where can employees study ABET?

You have realised that it is time for your unskilled and low-skilled employees to study ABET. This is so that they can acquire the basic education skills that they need to perform at optimal levels. These include literacy skills that are taught during quality adult literacy training. This is in addition to basic numbers/basic numeracy skills that are transferred by top-notch adult numeracy training.

If you operate a company that manufactures products, you have come to realise that relying on unskilled and low-skilled workers is simply unsustainable. As you harness the benefits of information technology, electronics and automation, you are increasingly relying on employees with basic education skills. This is because they are better equipped to understand the Internet of Things; artificial intelligence; and robotics. Therefore, they can efficiently navigate new technologies and apply them in practical ways on the manufacturing floor. Equipped with basic skills, they can function effectively in fast-paced, technology-driven environments. This includes operating high-speed machines with automatic setups and integrated order-management systems. This is not to mention their advanced-process control systems that use computers; touch screens; cloud-based technology; and real-time information retrieval. These ensure that exacting customer demands and timelines are met.

If you are operating a mine or quarry, you rely on a workforce that can read and write; communicate effectively with co-workers; and has basic analytical skills. Employees also need to follow instructions because they are supervised and take directions from higher-ups as part of the essential support role that they perform.

Operating a farm that relies heavily on seasonal workers, you have learnt that functional illiteracy poses challenges to ensuring health and safety. This is in addition to limiting the performance of workers in many other ways.

Irrespective of the industry, there is no place for illiteracy and innumeracy in the modern workplace.

Appoint a reputable ABET provider

Companies know that it is time to appoint a reputable ABET provider when business performance suffers as a result of poor basic education skills.

Work has to be redone often and basic errors hold up workflow because instructions are misunderstood. Important documentation, such as forms, job costings, as well as health and safety forms, are incomplete or populated incorrectly, wasting valuable time. Wastage levels are also high. This is the case even when incentives or penalties have been introduced to reduce excess. Your supervisors and managers complain about seldom receiving feedback from their staff.

Their employees also shy away from problem solving and decision making when they are asked to do so. Your business has also been inundated with complaints from customers. They object about frequently not receiving a response or the wrong information; incomplete orders; and overall poor service. Your business also has more accidents or near misses, even though you provide regular health and safety training and “toolbox talks”. Moreover, there is resistance to new initiatives. It seems that your employees fear change, although this is necessary to constantly improve performance. Employees also regularly come up with excuses to avoid participating in new initiatives. Staff turnover is also high, especially on days when training has been scheduled. Employees also turn down promotions, even though they offer career growth.

These are among the signs that your employees have basic education skills gaps that need to be addressed through adult basic training.

The extent of the basic education skills gaps and the exact interventions required to address them quickly and efficiently now need to be determined. The next step, therefore, entails partnering an expert ABET provider to develop a robust training for staff development strategy. However, the onus lies with you to select the correct adult basic training partner.

Success of your ABET programme

To ensure the success of your ABET training programme, you need to partner a skilled and experienced mathematical and literacy training provider. Such an AET provider will be accredited by the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training. This body is also commonly referred to as Umalusi Council []. Umalusi is a Nguni word for guardian, very appropriate in terms of adult education programmes. This is considering the important role that the Council plays in safeguarding quality standards in general and further education and training. First and foremost, it exists to protect learners by ensuring that they only receive the best possible training. This is to redress inequalities. Therefore, abusing the system undermines true transformation. Refer to

Without this accreditation, an adult education provider cannot offer a qualification on the General Education and Training Qualifications Sub-Framework. Refer to GFETQSF Policy covers final.cdr ( This is in line with the requirements of the National Qualifications Framework Act 67 of 2008 | South African Government (

Umalusi Council accreditation attests to the quality of adult basic education and training on offer. The Council mainly focuses on the mathematical and literacy training provider’s internal quality management of adult basic training provision. Therefore, it assesses the ABET provider’s mission directed leadership and management; teaching, learning and training; assessment and results; and learner support. Refer to Umalusi Council’s register of accredited training providers

The accreditation is valid for seven years. During this period, Umalusi Council will continue to monitor the mathematical and literacy training provider to ensure compliance with its exacting standards.

Note that even Umalusi Council and the Department of Higher Education and Training struggle to weed out unscrupulous operators. Therefore, ensure that you do thorough due diligence before simply appointing the first mathematics and literacy training provider.

ABET training for the workplace


It is important to partner an adult education training provider with a solid track record offering ABET training for the workplace. A work-based training provider undertakes adult basic training at your worksite, warehouse, factory, head office, mine or quarry. A large national geographic footprint enables the educational accredited training provider to reach even the remotest areas.

This is important considering that onsite-based training for employees is mainly geared at imparting basic education skills needed to improve job performance. Basic education skills are also simply referred to as workplace literacy or functional literacy.

To ensure that employees relate to the AET training, it must be undertaken in their working environment. Furthermore, adult basic training should be tailored to the individual basic education skills requirements of companies. For example, if farm workers have been enrolled for basic education for employees, the training should be specific to agricultural work. Employees need to be shown how their basic numbers skills/basic numeracy skills will help them to calculate areas, values and volumes of chemicals, among others. To incorporate “real-world” examples in their adult basic training lessons, AET providers need to understand the jobs performed by their learners.

If properly functioning, the workplace remains the best “classroom” for developing adults. It brings employees together and requires them to think, learn and act, after which they are provided with immediate feedback. An AET provider will lose the interest of learners if English and maths training is undertaken in an unfamiliar environment and is generic.

Avoid sending your employees to classrooms offsite. This approach is especially problematic for adults with low skills as many of them failed traditional education. They may find it difficult or unpleasant to return to such a setting. Moreover, the majority of low-skilled adults mainly take part in learning to advance their careers.

A flexible ABET provider

A flexible ABET provider will also be able to accommodate your production schedule. This despite its onsite-based training for employees already being more convenient and cost-effective for companies. Significant time and costs are saved transporting workers to adult basic training classes. However, it is important to remember that adult education and training provides significant dividends later. This is despite diverting time from the job and immediate results. Employees need to have the freedom to learn and be continuously encouraged to do so by their employers. It must not be perceived as an enormous burden by employers or simply a formality to improve Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Scorecards.

Certainly, there are always valid reasons for companies to choose not to train. However, there are consequences associated with this.

Without adequate training, employees are deprived the opportunity to learn basic education skills to perform their roles effectively. This impacts productivity and results in mistakes that cost time and money. Also consider the influence that not training your staff has on engagement and motivation levels.

Importantly, responsible companies know that they have a role to play in addressing inequality. This by giving those who have been deprived an education an opportunity to learn to grow and develop in their careers and as individuals. All too often, general workers are overlooked in vocational employee training in South Africa. Therefore, blue collar workers are often the most underdeveloped resources in a company. They are perceived as being simply small cogs that mainly just press buttons and move parts in a large machine that can be easily replaced. Onsite-based training for employees ensures business success. Mathematics and literacy training builds your company from this level up.

High ABET progression rate

A skilled and experienced accredited training provider will also boast a high ABET progression rate. This is considering the exceptional standard of its adult literacy training and numeracy training as an educational accredited training provider.

Adult basic training is provided by skilled and experienced facilitators. As an accredited training provider, AET is always facilitated by professionals who are registered with the South African Council for Educators []. This is in line with the Section 3(a), (c), and (f) of the South African Council for Educators Act No. 31 of 2000, as amended. Refer to,NO%2031%20OF%202000,%2028%2010%202011.pdf. Note that the act specifically states that “no person may be employed as an educator by any employer unless registered with the Council.”

They also have experience teaching adults basic education skills. A professional ABET training facilitator knows that adults have a higher sense of self direction and motivation. Therefore, learning outcomes are used to demonstrate the value and benefits of the adult literacy training and numeracy training. They also simplify the access of knowledge to help employees get started with adult education programmes.

Moreover, adults use their life experience to facilitate learning. Therefore, an educational accredited training provider will develop training materials that draw heavily on scenarios that learners will face in their daily roles.

Adults are also goal orientated. Thus, it is very important to show the value of training for staff development to employees. When employees understand the relevance of learning basic education skills, they will apply these to solving real-life problems and, therefore, learn faster.

Adults are practical. For this reason, adult basic education should also impart knowledge that can be quickly applied in the employee’s daily role at work. Thus, you should already start noticing a stark change in employee performance after completing a level of AET training.

ABET success

However, there are other factors that also have a bearing on ABET success. It is important that your employees are placed at the correct AET training level. This is done by first assessing the literacy and numeracy proficiency levels of your employees via a placement assessment. A professional mathematical and literacy training provider undertakes this analysis at your premises and at time that suits your production schedule. These sessions are usually about two hours in duration.

If undertaken correctly, a placement assessment will ensure that your employees seamlessly transfer from previous education level attainment into adult basic training. This ensures that they cope with adult literacy training and adult numeracy training. To excel, they also need to be stimulated by training for staff development and find it interesting and relevant. Employees will not take adult education and training seriously if they have already mastered the skills that are being taught in an ABET level.

Vocational employee training in South Africa starts at ABET training level 1 and ends at AET training level 4. Depending on the literacy and numeracy skills of your employees, they may have to first complete pre-ABET to better prepare them for AET.

Education development for employees should also start with an awareness campaign. These sessions clearly explain the benefits of learning basic education skills to employees who have been enrolled for English and maths training. Employees are also reassured of the support that they will receive from their employers and adult education and training facilitators. Adult learners are looking for mentors that they can trust through open communication, accountability and competency. This is a role that it is fulfilled by both employer and the adult education training provider, alike, throughout basic education training for employees. Therefore, strong partnerships must be forged between ABET provider and client.

Progressing through the ABET levels


Progressing through the ABET training levels, your employees develop their basic education skills incrementally.

Adult basic education and training Level 1 covers the English and maths curricula taught from Grade 1 through to 3. The curricula taught from Grades 4 to 5 are covered by adult basic education and training Level 2. AET training Level 3 imparts English and basic numeracy skills taught at Grades 6 and 7. Adult education and training Level 4 covers basic education skills learnt from Grades 7 to 8. Employees who have passed this level of English and maths training are awarded a General Education and Training Certificate []. It comprises the first band of the National Qualifications Framework []. This qualification is also sometimes simply referred to as an ABET Level 4 certificate.

To be awarded a full credit value in specific learning areas, employees need to achieve 40% in the summative and formative assessment components. These are set out in the GETC (NQF 1) National Assessment Guidelines []. A GETC certificate is awarded when 120 credits have been obtained from learning areas in the fundamental, core and elective categories.

A reputable work-based learning provider is also registered as an examination centre with the Department of Higher Education and Training []. This is where Umalasi Council will issue GETC certificates. To be on the “Green list” means that the AET provider has met strict criteria. Note that an AET provider that is not on this list can never offer an adult basic training qualification on the GETC. It also not permitted to register employees for examinations at an AET provider that is on the “Green list”.

Remember that an AET Level 4 certificate is not equivalent to a National Senior Certificate or other similar level qualifications. These are at a NQF Level 4.

ABET with measurable outcomes

Partnering an expert will ensure that your staff receive ABET training with measurable outcomes that benefit business performance.

The outcomes of education development for employees are the results of the learning processes. They refer to the knowledge; basic education skills; and attitudes that your employees have gained from adult literacy training and adult numeracy training. These critical outcomes are important as they serve as criteria for examination and promotion to higher levels of learning. They also emphasise active and critical learning.

Meanwhile, unit standards of adult basic education and training are the building blocks of basic education skills attainment. Acting as credits in the pursuit of a qualification, they have been developed by relevant stakeholders. AET training unit standards have been registered by the South African Qualifications Authority []. This document provides the required competence that learners have to meet.

An example of a unit standard is speaking and listening skills learnt during the Communication in English subject of ABET training Level 1. However, the specific outcomes of the subject are to initiate and maintain a conversation in English. This is in addition to the ability to ask for or provide simple information, explanations, directions and instructions. Employees who have completed this adult basic training subject should also be able to make requests and respond appropriately to others. They will also be expected to have an ability to express opinions and feelings after completing adult literacy training at this level.

Fast-track ABET training

A competent mathematical and literacy training provider can fast-track ABET training. This is through focused learning criteria; time-efficient classes; and small groups of learners at a time. A substantial increase in basic education skills is achieved in one adult basic education and training level. For example, the entry point ABET level 1 is equivalent to Grade 3. The exit point of ABET Level 2 is the same as Grade 5. During AET Level 1, employees learn how to write five sentences related to a single topic. The next ABET Level sees them learning how to read a text of 350 words in narrative, factual and persuasive format. This text also contains unfamiliar vocabulary.

During ABET Level 1, employees learn how to read a text of a maximum of 150 words in a simple narrative format for meaning. AET training Level 2 teaches how to read a text of 320 words in narrative, actual and persuasive format with unfamiliar vocabulary. In adult basic training Level 1, employees learn very basic functional literacy/language skills. This enables them to read and write simple notices, lists, invitations and messages. ABET training Level 2 teaches more complex skills. These enables employees to read and write instructions and timetables.

Learn more about Triple E Training and how we are consistently raising the bar in adult literacy training and numeracy training for industry.

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Book a Call

Unlock the Full Potential of Your Employees. Leave your details & our team get back to you.

Note: Please be assured that all personal data submitted is handled with the utmost confidentiality & will only be used for the purpose of addressing your inquiries.