Continuous learning is essential and yet is lacking in South African organisations.
The global business world is going through seismic changes due to rapid advancements in technology. Organisations are dealing with radically shifting contexts for the workforce, workplace and the world of work in general.
The digital revolution has forced the business world to cultivate a culture of continuous learning. Growing professional development is of national importance for South African employers but it it is reported that only 28% are helping their employees build to these skills (according to the Deloitte 2017 Human Capital Trends report). The report, which delves into the top human capital trends globally, highlights that both careers and learning shot to second place on the importance list.
The report finds that globally 83% of executives have identified learning and development (L&D) as vital. As a result, more organisations are starting to help employees with ‘always-on’ L&D to plug the critical skills gaps that exist in various sectors and to help employees grow and thrive in the workplace.
Roughly 30% of local employers say they don’t have clear paths within their organisation, while 16% say they use short-term assignments as part of career development. Moreover, while locally 81% of executives rate career and learning as important, only 58% describe their organisation as prepared, which rates the country ‘not ready,’ when it comes to how employers manage careers and deliver learning and development.
Milpark Education has identified the need to address the critical skills gap both internally and externally. Currently, there are over 24 staff members studying various qualifications to enhance their skillset, but to also improve the way in which they deliver service to customers.
The private higher education institution also offers over 40 learnerships to a number of corporates. A learnership is a vocational and educational training programme that links structured learning and work experience in order to obtain a registered qualification. A learnership combines theory and workplace practice into a qualification registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).
To boost the country’s readiness score, employers need to become digitally savvy in an evolving digital world. According to the data, companies are “moving to overhaul their career models and L&D infrastructure for the digital age.”
The report adds: “Learning technology is changing rapidly. 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.”
A learning and development expert says: “Empowering and developing employees through registered and accredited learning programmes is one way of boosting the level of skills in an organisation. It is a two-pronged process, when employees’ upskill, organisations grow and this will help take our country forward, which is exactly what we need.”
As a direct result of the critical skills gap that exists in various industries, South African employers are encouraged to accelerate their staff development process and produce a corporate culture of employees who are knowledgeable and well-informed.