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Learnerships: a clever way to boost your BEE scorecard

By Thembekile Gatya, Empowerment Consultant at Mindworx Empowerment Advisory

Despite Stats SA reporting in mid-February that overall employment in South Africa increased by 1,5% in the fourth quarter of 2016 – quarter-on-quarter – with 235 000 jobs created, there continues to be an essential need to focus on skills development at all levels. Without a skilled workforce, the South African economy will continue to falter.

We all know the essence of the thing, but the development of skills has been described by the South African government as “the process of developing the skills of the South African workforce to improve the quality of life of workers, their prospects of work and labour mobility”. Its main objective is to improve productivity in the workplace and the competitiveness of employers, to promote self-employment and ultimately improve the delivery of social services. And with that comes substantial economic benefit too.

And because our government understands the social importance of skills development, it is addressed robustly in the B-BBEE Codes, that were updated in 2016. In fact, skills development has been elevated to a priority element, making every company in South African beholden to really understand what is meant by skills development, and how best to apply it to their specific circumstances.

Understanding skills development for B-BBEE

According to the Department of Trade and Industry, it is imperative for employers to prioritise workforce upskilling, which also includes new entrants to the world of work, in order to develop employable youth with sustainable futures in the workplace. The skills development objectives are clearly stated in the B-BBEE Codes of good practice, and include:

  • to increase the levels of investment in education and training in the labour market and to increase the return on that investment;
  • to encourage employers – to use the workplace as an active learning environment;
  • to provide employees with the opportunities to acquire new skills;
  • to provide opportunities for new entrants to the labour market to gain work experience;
  • to employ persons who find it difficult to be employed;
  • to encourage workers to participate in learning programmes (internships, learnerships and apprenticeships);
  • to improve the employment prospects of persons previously disadvantaged by unfair discrimination and to redress those disadvantages through training and education;
  • to ensure the quality of learning in and for the workplace;
  • to assist – work-seekers to find work; retrenched workers to re-enter the labour market; employers to find qualified employees;
  • to provide and regulate employment services¨

Getting it right

The ultimate purpose of all priority elements is to foster compliance to a skills development threshold of 40%. Failure to achieve this will result in a company being discounted at least one level of recognition on their scorecard. For example, if an entity has an overall recognition level at 6, but is unable to meet the 40% skills development threshold, they will drop one level down to B-BBEE Level 7.

As we discussed in a piece published last year – Learnerships offer the ideal opportunity to fast-track your career – without any real workplace experience, many young people struggle to get a good, stable job where there is opportunity for growth and development. Learnerships offer just that: they provide the employer and employee with a good mix of opportunity and skills development, offering a win-win where the employer trains young people into the kind of workers, with the skills they need, while at the same time young people gain highly desirable skills for sustainable work opportunities.

Mindworx Academy has a progressive model to provide skills development in a win-win way

At the Mindworx Academy we turn inexperienced graduates into confident and appropriately skilled professionals capable of fulfilling entry level roles, through intensive training and work experience that sets them on a path to long-term employment.

Our solutions include a Business Analysis learnership qualification that prepares young graduates for junior roles that require a strong technical foundation and tech-savvy approach. This training includes a 2-month work readiness programme and 10-month work-based practical training on-site at our clients’ offices.

So, if you’re looking for a clever solution to your B-BBEE skills development needs, while at the same time uplifting young South Africans by providing sustainable work opportunities, get in touch with us today…

Benefits of partnering with the Mindworx Academy

  • Access to a non-traditional talent pool due to our innovative sourcing solutions;
  • Ready-to-work young people who have already participated in an extensive battery of qualitative assessments;
  • Training with a difference – our programme prepares candidates emotionally and intellectually through work-based challenges;
  • Academy graduates receive ongoing coaching and mentoring support as part of the learnership;
  • Reduced risk of employing entry-level staff as Academy graduates are placed on learnership contracts and clients have the option to employ them when the learnership is complete; and
  • Significant enhancements to client B-BBEE scorecards in the areas of staff transformation, skills development, supplier development and preferential procurement (Mindworx Academy is a level 1 B-BBEE contributor).

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