Business & Economy

Tuesday, 25 November 2008 11:39

Economy vs Training - Give training the nod!

 
{pp}Do an internet search using the phrase ‘skills development’ or ‘skills training’ and very much all that reflects is South African based research regarding this ongoing subject of interest – or saga if you will.

In South Africa our incessant skills shortages are a point of serious concern. Yet despite this, companies cannot afford to be blinded into inaction because of the stats we read or what the media reports.

Economy vs. Training? – Give training the nod! Do an internet search using the phrase ‘skills development’ or ‘skills training’ and very much all that reflects is South African based research regarding this ongoing subject of interest – or saga if you will. In South Africa our incessant skills shortages are a point of serious concern. Yet despite this, companies cannot afford to be blinded into inaction because of the stats we read or what the media reports.

Alan Hammond, Editor of Skills Portal says, “Our skills shortages are not going to be easily or quickly solved so continuous investment from companies in up-skilling staff is needed, despite the dip in economic growth we are experiencing” We have talent at varying levels of skill currently available within South Africa – so the answer to our skills shortage will continue to be training, training and more training.

We need to develop the skills of our internal staff and unemployed individuals, whether they have prior qualifications or not, to ensure we are able to sustain positive economic growth, skills development and the resultant decreased rates of unemployment into the future. Companies cut budgets when the going gets tough – but certainly one of the budgets that should at best be maximised and at worst be retained, is skills training. Without efficient, knowledgeable staff a company’s productivity and turnover can seriously be undermined adding to the headache of an already slow economy.

“When the up-turn in our economy occurs, it will be too late for those companies who have cut back on their skills training budget,” says Alan. At a time like this a company needs to take advantage of all available opportunities to prepare their operations and staff so they can move full steam ahead when improvements in the economy start to take place. “Developing a targeted workplace skills plan and ensuring you have proof of payment to an accredited training provider so that you can claim back your skills levies, are two of the most basic ways of enabling the highest returns and biggest savings in training,” says Michelle Marais, Operations Manager of Staffing Direct Training Academy.

Efficient graduate bridging programmes are highly advantageous to many companies who will benefit from accessing the current latent skills that lie within our largely unemployed graduate community. “The transfer of basic skills is imperative. We assume that graduates have the practical knowledge that enables them to not only present themselves well in an interview, but to also step into a formalised work environment (which they are not used to) and make an immediate contribution,” says Alan. “Where companies have engaged in a pre-induction process, there has been a marked success in taking graduates and providing them with ‘the icing on the cake’ so to speak which enables them to integrate with relative ease into the work environment and begin making a worthwhile contribution quicker.”

Increased recruitment spend as a result of dissatisfied job-hoppers is another cost that can be successfully curbed through the use of targeted training. “Staffing Direct has seen on both the recruitment and training areas that companies who empower their staff through training, experience an active increase in productivity, dedication and team spirit. They spend less time and money finding replacements and yet they effortlessly attract top-quality talent because they have established a good employer brand,” says Michelle. All in all the advantages of training (preferably delivered according to a targeted work-place skills plan) far outweigh the alternative of cutting back on funds for skills development. We need to see training as the imperative binder that empowers our people, lowers unemployment, improves our economy, retains our talent and ensures the profitable longevity of our organisations.

For the good of our country and the people who reside in it, we need to give training the nod! Darrin Arendse, the Provincial HR Head for Standard Bank in the Western Cape will be delivering a highly informative talk pertaining to the role of Skills Development in the Retention of Talent at the launch event of Staffing Direct Training Academy on the 27th of November 2008. Should journalists and employers wish to attend this event or should you require any further information, please contact Michelle Marais telephonically on 021 948 3451 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Contact Information:
Michelle Marais Operations Manager
Staffing Direct Training Academy
Tel: +27 (0)21 948 3451
Mobile: +27 (0) 84 478 3451
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: www.staffingdirect.co.za

Charlene Haines (Author - Jolene Bestbier)
Marketing Specialist Haines Initiative
Tel: +27 (0)21 987 6903
Cell: +27 (0)83 291 2331
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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