Human Resource

With Jipsa, the Joint Initiative for Priority Skills Acquisition, the major focus of attempts to stimulate the economy, people skills are now in the spotlight. What challenges does this new programme pose for the human resource department? Our commentator shares some views.

From this year the Department of Labour will be much tougher on the submission of employment equity reports. The Minister has warned that they will no longer accept employment equity reports that have not been fully and correctly completed and employers will in future be deemed not to have reported until all outstanding information has been supplied.

Becoming a chartered accountant generally assures one of landing an attractive package at a prestigious corporation but without the "right’ experience and attitude, the path to the top can be bumpy.

SA employers are more progressive when hiring women of a child bearing age despite the fact that companies abroad continue to discriminate.

Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka took the opportunity of the launch of the Global Media Monitoring Project to call on the media to address gender imbalances in the industry by giving women voice in stories.

Written or verbal references are virtually useless as a tool for would-be employers, unless heavily contextualized.

A new national project is recruiting unemployed female graduates to benefit from work experience postings in the United Arab Emirates. The Public Works Department will pay for all expenses during the 6-month to one-year programme.

There is concern that women are seriously under-represented in management positions within the liquid fuels industry - and the sector's transformation charter does not address this issue.

The American FBI's most wanted may be a top 10, but Home Affairs recently-released list of South Africa's most wanted includes 56 occupations and skills where foreigners will now get easier access to South Africa.

The national Cabinet has heard that the public service has failed to meet the government's employment equity targets and has identified a number of areas for attention.

Professor Kader Asmal encouraged South Africans to embrace and enhance diversity for the development of a stronger nation - rather than seeing diversity as something to manage. Asmal was speaking at the launch of the Diversity Providers Association.

Old Mutual MD Roddy Sparks has reacted to some negative publicity the insurance giant has received from a case in the Labour Court. The issue involves an employee who made a racist statement in the workplace and after appealing a dismissal, was re-employed.

Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana has reiterated his call for employers to comply with the Employment Equity Act saying failure to do so may see the offender paying a hefty fine.

Xolela Mangcu, an Executive Director at the HSRC, paraphrased his grand mother?s question to him: "ivela phi le nto? "Where does this affirmative action come from because I wasn?t consulted?" It was one of a number of questions posed to promote discussion at the recent symposium on Affirmative Action held at the University of Cape Town.

Discussions on employment equity and affirmative action often end without agreement - even about the terms being used. A new work by Professor Harish Jain provides some valuable guidance on dealing with these issues.

For the first time in 83 years, women in the South African Navy are gathered to discuss issues of empowerment and transformation in the force and society in general.

Large companies have only a few days left to complete and submit their employment equity reports on the Department of Labour's new computerised system.

With the number of cases of sexual harassment being pursued rising sharply, a new publication guiding managers on how to deal with the subject has arrived just in time.

The Department of Labour has introduced a new online system that will assist large employers who have to submit Employment Equity reports this October.

Gauteng Premier Mbazima Shilowa says it is up to the women of today to seize the opportunities created by the country's first decade of democracy and ensure South Africa truly belongs to all who live in it.

President Mbeki might have reached 45% female representation in his national cabinet, but other areas of the economy are not doing so well. In his speech on National Womens' Day, the president highlighted the poor performance of the private sector in achieving employment equity.

Minerals and Energy Minister Lindiwe Hendricks has urged women to take the lead in driving economic growth and take advantage of emerging new opportunities.

The Women in Economy conference, held recently in Pietermaritzburg, urged female delegates to think beyond traditional womens' roles in business, unless they become permanently associated with cleaning and catering.

The Minister of Labour has announced the establishment of the second Commission for Employment Equity to advise the Minister on issues relating to the Employment Equity Act.

Speaking at the launch of UCT?s transformation strategy, Education Minister Naledi Pandor pointed out just how serious the issue is for higher education institutions. "There is no choice but to succeed,' she said.

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