Creating a Culture of Continuous Learning in South African Workplaces
There are 10 million youngsters between the ages of 15 and 24 living in South Africa. According to Stats SA’s Quarterly Labour Force Survey, over 54% of these individuals are unemployed. High levels of youth unemployment are a byproduct of the critical skills gaps that exist in various South African industries due to a lack of training and education. These skills shortages make potential employers wary of absorbing youngsters into their organisations. It is for this reason that local employers are being encouraged to engage in skills development initiatives across the country.
While it is evident that learning and development is needed in South African workplaces, the question is “are our organisations ready?” According to the 2017 Human Capital Trends Report by auditing firm Deloitte, which explores the top human capital trends both locally and globally, the answer is no. Deloitte’s report found that only 28% of employers say they’re helping employees build skills and roughly 30% of organisations say that they do not have clear paths within their organisation for skills development.
The global shift towards upskilling employees through “always-on” L&D, however, has already begun. This model serves as a tool to narrow skills gaps in a number of sectors and help employees to thrive in the workplace. So, what are South African employers doing to fast-track learning and development?
Deloitte’s data suggests that companies are “moving to overhaul their career models and L&D infrastructure for the digital age”. According to the report, “traditional learning management systems are being complemented with and replaced by a wide range of new technologies for content creation, delivery, video distribution and mobile use.” Based on this, it’s clear that employers will need to become more digitally savvy in order to boost the country’s readiness score.
Richard Rayne, CEO of iLearn – a leading South African learning solutions provider that offers a range of Learnerships, short courses online courses and digital learning solutions, describes the report’s results as “refreshing”. Rayne says that more South African employers should encourage learning and development in the workplace to boost the skills levels of their organisations. He goes on to explain how Learnership programmes are a means of producing both capable and efficient employees.
A Learnership is a vocational and educational training programme that links structured learning and work experience in order to obtain a registered qualification. It combines theory and workplace practice into a qualification registered with the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).
“Empowering and developing employees through NQF-accredited learning programmes is one way of boosting the level of skills in an organisation. And it’s a two-pronged process – when employers upskill, organisations grow and this will help take our country forward, which is exactly what we need,” Rayne says.
There’s further incentive, too. Now that skills development is such a crucial element of the BBBEE scorecard, Rayne says that companies can use Learnership qualifications not just for talent development but to boost B-BBEE levels as well.
The good news is that Learnerships are as cost efficient as they are effective. Learn more about iLearn’s Learnership training courses today.