SKILLS DEVELOPMENT: SUPPORTING SOUTH AFRICA’S ECONOMY, YOUTHS AND BUSINESSES
It’s no secret that South Africa has one of the worst unemployment rates in the world. Did you know that only 51.1% of matriculates have a chance of being absorbed into the workforce? At present, there are at least 405 000 unemployed youth (15 – 24 years) in South Africa.
Despite all the doom and gloom, it is true that learnership training and skills development are powerful tools that can be used to not only create more job opportunities but to strengthen the economy in general. NQF level learnerships (i.e. work-based learning programmes that are directly related to an occupation) are managed by the Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs). By offering learnership courses to employees, your business can become eligible for a number of important benefits in the form of reimbursements, grants and tax rebates.
By contrast, businesses that fail to achieve a 40% minimum threshold of skills development points will be penalised on their Broad-based Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) rating which is not surprising considering that skills development training is such a crucial factor on the new B-BBEE scorecard.
Investing in relevant and quality learnership programmes – which help to develop specific skills related to an occupation – is therefore extremely advantageous for local companies; while not doing so can have unfavourable consequences.
Furthermore, businesses that do decide to include skills development in their annual workplace skills plan are able to enter into learnership agreements with current employees as well as those who are currently unemployed, consequently creating more job opportunities for graduates and matriculants who would otherwise struggle to find employment.
Richard Rayne, CEO of iLearn, explains: “The unique advantage of learnerships is that they are work-based and delivered onsite in a company’s environment. They can, therefore, be specifically and strategically designed, and then embedded within the context of your organisation’s talent development objectives and goals.”