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INSETA Awards R9.8M to SAADP

INSETA Awards R9.8M to SAADP
24-06-14 / Staff Writer

INSETA Awards R9.8M to SAADP

Sandra Dunn, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of INSETA stated, "Our research has identified that high-skill professionals such as actuaries, risk managers and data and systems analysts are needed in the field of emerging technologies. We are proud to be associated with the SAADP's work of mentoring young, black, future actuaries which shall increase South Africa’s pool of scarce and critical skills in the insurance sector."

In 1998, only 2.2% of actuaries in South Africa were black. Since its inception in 2003, the SAADP has helped to increase the percentage of black actuaries to 15% in 2013. The SAADP is a non-profit company that was established to nurture and enhance the pool of black actuaries in the country,by not only providing funding to students but also supporting them holistically.

Nokwanda Mkhize, Executive Director of the SAADP, said, "The SAADP's partnership with INSETA started in 2010. INSETA joined us at the right time, as we were struggling to obtain sponsorships because the world was just emerging from a recession. We care greatly about our partnership with INSETA as we share the same vision of changing the demographic landscape of the Actuarial field."

Since 2010, INSETA has consistently funded students through the SAADP. The sum of their funding amounts to R30.7 million. In 2013, INSETA donated R5.4 million to the SAADP. In 2014, the sponsorship almost doubled to R9.8 million. This has assisted the SAADP greatly and as a result, the organisation was able to increase its student intake from 119 in 2013 to 160 in 2014. Mkhize commented, "INSETA's funding to the SAADP increases annually as the SAADP's student intake grows, due to an increased number of black students who wish to pursue a career in Actuarial Science. Another reason for the increase in funding is due to university fees increasing annually. This investment will hopefully yield more Actuarial Science graduates and will lead to the production of more qualified black actuaries."

In 2013, of the 59 third and fourth-year students that INSETA supported through the SAADP, 55 passed their academic year. Mkhize commented on the programme's success,"The SAADP bursary programme is different from other bursary schemes because we have a strong student support programme. We do not only provide comprehensive bursaries, but we also provide our students with academic and emotional support."

There are no unemployed actuaries in the country because the demand for actuarial skills has expanded in recent years and far exceeds the supply. Mkhize explains, "Traditionally, these skills were only used in the insurance sector, but in recent years actuarial skills have become greatly sought after in areas such as government, banking, marketing, medical aid schemes, accounting firms and so on." Mkhize describes another stumbling block on the path to producing actuaries," the South African schooling system struggles to produce enough students with excellent mathematical and scientific skills, which are imperative to study and succeed in Actuarial Science"

To encourage black learners to study Actuarial Science, the SAADP visits schools to inform learners on the course and how one should prepare for it. The SAADP has also shown learners Actuarial Science graduates from similar backgrounds to the learners, whom the SAADP has supported, and who have qualified, or are about to qualify as actuaries.

For more information, one can visit the SAADP's website at www.saadp.co.za

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