More employers are placing emphasis on the importance of workplace learning – a powerful tool that empowers the workforce, improves the bottom-line and bodes well for the country’s economy.
With a new year upon us, Richard Rayne, CEO of iLearn, a leading South African learning solutions-based business says in a country like South Africa, where skills gaps exist in various key sectors, upskilling the workforce is fundamental.
“Great value lies in upskilling and empowering employees through Learnerships, it gives them the opportunity to acquire new skills on the job and fill the gaps that exist in critical skills areas,” he says.
The Training Industry – a trusted source of information on the business of learning, has observed several learning trends for the coming year. Some of these trends are discussed below.
Digital learning gets the thumbs-up:
Rayne says digital learning offers exceptional convenience, pace, choice and flexibility. He explains that South Africa’s first MICT SETA-approved Blended Learning Learnership, developed by iLearn, seeks to close the digital skills gap in the country. “This approach uses both digital learning and the tried-and-tested benefits of instructor-led learning to assist the learner in the best possible way,” he says.
Interpersonal skills are important:
Developing interpersonal skills is crucial for any organisation, and in order to make these skills more easily accessible, understood and absorbed, iLearn has introduced microlearning, a holistic approach for skills based learning which breaks learning up into ‘bite-size’ pieces.
“Training in soft skills is necessary to communicate effectively, this will help to bolster confidence and in-turn boost interpersonal skills, an essential component to ensure an employee’s success in the workplace,” Rayne says.
A learner-centric experience:
The “one-size fits all” training approach is a thing of the past and Rayne says customizing a learning programme to meet learners’ needs is necessary to stay ahead and on-trend.
“We believe in the importance of a tailored learning approach. It plays a central role in the delivery and management of training experiences. In keeping with this philosophy, we offer a learning platform with a wide variety of unique characteristics and a key functionality that allows clients to select a platform and individualised set-up that fits in with their company culture and training requirements,” he says.
Investing in Learnerships also offers a range of other benefits for South African organisations. He says government has made skills development a priority element of the BBBEE scorecard and continues to encourage companies to put employees through Learnerships in a bid to upskill their workforce. Further, investing in Learnerships provides opportunities to capitalise on various reimbursements, grants and tax rebates.
“Learnerships helps to cultivate and develop a talented and highly competent workforce, therefore, it’s important to invest wisely in relevant and quality Learnerships,” Rayne says.