August 2018 ~ Skills development is a priority element of the B-BBEE scorecard, says Gestalt CEO Deon Oberholzer, adding that’s it is one of the easiest priority elements to comply with, if you know how…
Skills development is about the extent to which organisations carry out initiatives designed to develop the competencies of black people, both internally and externally. The sub-minimum requirement for skills development is 40% of the total weighting points which, on the generic scorecard, is only 8 out of a possible 25 points, including the bonus points.
Another requirement is that black women must comprise between 40% and 50% of the beneficiaries of the relevant elements of the B-BBEE scorecard, and that black people with disabilities, black youth, black people living in rural areas, and black unemployed people form part of the beneficiaries of skills development.
Fulfilling this obligation requires time and money that some companies are loathe to part with. A story that has been doing the rounds for years is one where the CEO says, “What if we invest in developing our people and they leave us?”, to which the response is, “What if you don’t invest in them, and they stay?”
Firm believers in the importance of investing into staff, Gestalt works out strategies for our clients to achieve the maximum points for skills development whilst aligning it with the long-term developmental needs of the business and staff.
Training staff for the future is valuable to you as the business owner of leader in the long run. Not only does it bring vital skills to your company in a marketplace that is changing rapidly with the innovation and technology we now have access to, it means that you are able to train someone more effectively once you have the strategy to do it.
Skills development as an economy-booster
In making your staff future-effective with a sound strategy, you are not only gaining the requisite B-BBEE points – you are contributing positively to the economy, which means… more business.
By developing the skills of your current staff members and moving them past their traditional glass ceilings, you’re creating a continuous cycle of training, developing, moving and uplifting. The effect of this on the economy cannot be overstated. Career planning allows you to take on new staff while retaining upskilled staff, purely from the perspective that staff members know their opportunities with your company are ongoing.
Ask yourself this: If I require a new employee now, do I want experience or intellect? My choice would be to upskill someone already in the company and take on someone who has the capacity to learn how your particular organisation operates, and give them the opportunity to join what becomes a chain of enabling people to reach their potential.
While the points are important to fulfil mandatory obligations, it’s the people who keep the economy afloat. There is also much to be said about a workforce that has the dignity of employment coupled with the surety of promotion.
Note that a large part of skills development should include life skills and soft skills such as work readiness mentoring and communications skills and ensuring your skills strategy includes understanding where previously disadvantaged staff come from in the emotional sense, and giving them the full opportunity they deserve by including everything the incumbent needs to know about your company; how to fit in; and how things work in your specific market.
The B-BBEE points are valuable… but compare them to the value a dignified, employed individual and his or her family adds to our economy. As the ad says… priceless.
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