The Grudge of Skills
In a recent edition of the WITS Business School’s Journal, the old tune to kick-starting the economy with entrepreneurship, skills development and infrastructure has again been echoed.
In principle these ideals make sense but in practice, the picture is sometimes (if not most of the time) far removed from reality. Entrepreneurship and infrastructure development require deep skills bases.
In the contemporary discourse, “Skills Development” is mentioned in the same sentence as “BBBEE Scorecard”. In fact, some in industry regard the two concepts as the same syllable. Because there is a perception that skills development is always a result of the BBBEE scorecard, industry regards it as a grudge purchase.
- They feel the BBBEE scorecard is enforced without rhyme or reason
- Some in industry simply want to spend on training so that “the right boxes and be ticked”
- Others attempt efforts to make a success of skills development but their internal capabilities are inadequate to ensure successful skills development programs
In addition, companies above a certain turnover must pay Skills Development Levies to the State. The idea being that the State has, via Skills Development Levies, a pool of funds that can be used by industry to alleviate skills shortages in the country
In a short survey done by Growth Institute, it was remarkable how many we companies we encounter that do not make use of the opportunities created by tools such as Skills Development Levies, SARS Rebates and SETA grants. It seems a mystery as to why opportunities as lost.
The survey did show that some segments in industry reveal the classic Ticker© behaviour. In other words, regulatory compliance and true skills development are two mutually exclusive matters.
Tickers© do not care about giving skills improvement or skills building opportunities to employees and communities. Ticker©-based learnerships create immense frustration for trainers, facilitators and employers alike because the calibre of learner is simply unique and almost not capable to obtain valuable and practical insights from learning interventions.
As long as Tickers rule, for so long will this country be exposed to circle arguments about moving the economy forward by means of skills.
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