A new course called the A-Z of Skills Development in the Workplace has been designed to relieve much of the confusion and troubles many businesses have experienced in their efforts to train staff. Presented by the GSB and the Professional Education Project at the UCT Faculty of Law, it is targeted at HR practitioners, development facilitators and trainers, giving them the latest insight on legislature and a guide to implementation best practice.
According to the director of the course, Maxine Adams of consultancy HR Solutions for Tomorrow, the new programme is the first of its kind in skills development management and comes as initiatives by government have recently placed an emphasis on business as drivers of skills development.
"Finance Minister Trevor Manuel in his Budget 2006 once again emphasized the countrys focus regarding skills development and that this is imperative to achieve 6% growth. As a result the budget in general states that the skills development focus will be regarded as a vital process to drive the macroeconomic environment in SA forward,' she said.
She added that good all-round knowledge was a key area for enhancing the success of training initiatives.
"The legislation is quite complex which can put companies off and lead them to outsource the complete skills development process - HR leaders in particular have generally taken a more administrative role, but they can create a lot of value for the bottom line of the organisation by steering skills development and marketing their activities at boardroom level.'
Adams says that the new programme is unique in its comprehensive approach to training HR practitioners, development facilitators and trainers in teaching them to be strategic in the way they approach skills development.
"Firstly, it will give employers the latest insight on legislation including the BEE components that will be increasing important to implement. The second part deals with practical skills to implement a workplace skills development programme as well as how to improvise to better manage training. The final area deals with how to align a skills programme with the business strategy and bottom line targets - a critical area often not given much attention,' said Adams.
The programme will also enlighten skills development role-players on the avenues available to them for training staff, including universities and business schools which can tailor-design programmes in partnership with organisations.
"Organisations are often unaware of the full spectrum of quality training providers out there for them - most notably universities and business schools. With institutions such as these, organisations can be assured of excellent quality training, accreditation for programmes and can play a hands-on role in designing relevant training where it is needed.'