The digital revolution has completely changed the way we interact with the world. We now shop from the comfort of our homes, have access to more media than we could ever consume, and can easily access the Internet from devices small enough to carry in our pockets.
Education is another field that has been dramatically changed by the constant advance of digital technology. People with an interest in a subject can not only find information about it through sources like online journals, websites and YouTube, but can also engage in more structured learning through online learning platforms.
However, despite how easy it may appear for people to access these online learning resources, the reality is quite different for many South Africans. Many working-class South Africans don’t have access to the basic resources they need to engage with these online learning platforms, including:
- Computer access at home – Many South Africans don’t have the financial resources to invest in a dedicated desktop machine or laptop in their homes. The majority use smartphones to connect to the Internet, and as wondrous as these devices may be, they may not be the best tool for accessing these online learning platforms.
- Sufficient Internet access – Accessing the Internet through smartphones, unfortunately, brings with it the high cost of mobile data, which works out at an average of $7.60 per gig. While fixed line options such as fibre and ADSL are available and can work out much cheaper per gig, lack of infrastructure and the initial financial costs exist as barriers to entry for many South Africans.
So despite the desire many South Africans have to reach their full potential, they, unfortunately, lack access to the tools they need to do so. This creates a problem that doesn’t just affect individuals, but also many businesses who are in desperate need of skilled employees.
This doesn’t have to be the case though – HR managers can work with talented employees to provide them with Blended Learning solutions they need to fill the skills gap. Blended Learning offers South African companies many advantages including:
- Being more cost efficient – A Blended Learnership is more cost efficient because it helps you save on new hires by simply upskilling existing employees. It’s also a cheaper approach to training than committing a staff member or hiring an instructor to teach all the relevant content in person.
- Increasing your organisation’s BBBEE rating – As long as your employees are taking part in Learnerships that meet specific Learnership criteria, the Learnership will help improve your overall BBBEE rating.
- Offering a flexible approach to training for employees – While employees will still need to be present for face-to-face learning, they can otherwise manage how and when they choose to spend their time tackling the online component of the qualification.
- Providing the benefits of both online and classroom-based learning as well – Different people have different approaches to learning, with some preferring to engage with written content, while others prefer to engage with an instructor. A Blended Learning qualification provides the best of both worlds.
- Tax deductions – TaxTim discusses this in greater detail here, but South African companies can claim back on taxes if they have employees who take part in Learnership programmes.
While this undoubtedly is a good way to upskill your employees, HR shouldn’t have to bear the burden of this responsibility alone; and thankfully, they don’t have to. iLearn is a learning partner that aims to take advantage of the latest technology and tools to provide cutting-edge Blended Learning qualifications, along with specialised support for the learners in your organisation.
To find out more about iLearn and the courses we have to offer, be sure to schedule a free consultation today.