Learning and skill development is a priority amongst South African businesses

28 June 2019 Consultancy.co.za 2 min. read
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Employees are becoming the focal point for businesses across the globe, which has led many organisations to reconsider their human capital strategies, according to Deloitte. In South Africa, learning has become a central process for businesses as they look to equip their employees with the skills of the contemporary business environment. 

Skill-development has become essential in the South African market. The country suffers from a staggeringly high unemployment rate, which is expected to be further compounded as jobs come under pressure from the automation and artificial intelligence paradigm, provided that the skill profile doesn’t evolve.

As a result, organisations in the country have made fast and high quality skill training a priority in recent years. This scenario has been reflected in global professional services firm Deloitte’s 2019 Human Capital Trends report, where most South African businesses have portrayed learning as a central priority.

The findings come amid similar trends across the globe, where people are emerging as the centre of organisational strategies. “To bring meaning back into the workplace and a human identity back to the worker, it is clear that traditional human capital programmes and processes must be fundamentally reinvented,” says the report.

Learning and skill development is a priority amongst South African businesses

345 of the 9,000 respondents that were surveyed by Deloitte were from South Africa, and nearly 90% of these respondents indicated that learning was crucial for their organisation. South Africa, much like the rest of the world, is beginning to work within the framework of a social enterprise.

In the South African context, this trend emerges alongside a number of other social issues that are being raised. Equality for women is one issue that has gained considerable attention in South Africa recently, as has the fight against corruption, equitable income distribution, and the demand for efficiency in services.

“There is a call for companies to do more, to fill the vacuum that government is not filling,” indicates Pam Maharaj, Human Capital Practice Partner at Deloitte Africa. The lack of trust in the government is a major driver of the rise of social enterprise in the country, much like individual empowerment.

Another driver is the advent of technology. “We have seen issues on privacy of data going onto various platforms. We also know that, with automation, there is a pervasive issue that people are facing with jobs that are being replaced,” said Maharaj.