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How Skills Development Supports the South African Economy

Although South Africa’s diverse economy and population are seen as strengths that can promote innovation and economic growth, we also face the overarching challenge of unemployment and unmet skills requirements. 

How can we combat these challenges and ultimately support economic growth and social development in our country? We need to put Skills Development at the forefront of our efforts, adding value to both organisations and individuals in South Africa.

Skills development acts as the only means to fill the critical skill gaps in our country. Effective training and upskilling opportunities will reduce these gaps by equipping workers with skills in demand as well as the ability to adapt and reskill for changes in the job market.

The Need for Skills Development in Our Economy

Without skills development, there is no foundation for innovation and productivity. Having survived rapid change over the past few years, while still stabilising from the effects of technological evolution, we have seen an urgent need in our country for a skilled workforce that can practice resilience and remain competitive in the face of volatility. 

Benefits of Skills Development

Companies are challenged to meet the crucial needs of their workforce and industries in order to stay competitive in an unpredictable and dynamic global economy. However, the benefits of skills development for organisations in South Africa are unrivalled by any other competitive initiative. Here’s what companies can expect to see as a result of investing in staff training: 

Increased employability and career advancement opportunities 

As much as gainful employment will benefit individuals, companies also reap the rewards of a larger employability pool. Other than more candidate options when it comes to hiring, employers can also use skills development as a tool to create internal career advancement opportunities for employees who are already invested in their company culture. 

Improved productivity and performance in the workplace 

There is no better way to peak performance and productivity than by investing in effective training programs. The more your employees master their specific workplace skills, the more their workflow will develop in terms of efficiency. 

Enhanced competitive advantage 

Companies who want to stay competitive need to keep up with change. Adaptability is a skill that requires intentional training and buy-in from leaders, but offers an unparalleled competitive edge.

Contribution to innovation and economic growth

On a larger scale, we know that skills development certainly has a significantly positive impact on the economic growth of our country. A skilled workforce drives technological innovation and essentially the nation’s efficiency.

Increased employee retention

Providing employees with opportunities to advance their careers within your organisation will give them the satisfaction of feeling valued and fulfilled in their roles at your company, leading to reduced staff turnover.

Challenges and Opportunities for Skills Development

While skills development is paramount to the success of the South African economy, it does not come without its challenges. Funding constraints is a common cause for businesses to forgo training. Many organisations believe that they don’t have access to skills development opportunities because of these financial restrictions, which the majority of the time, is simply not the case. 

The South African government has implemented many policies and initiatives that support organisations’ buy-in to skills development. Tax incentives that the government has initiated through the Skills Development Levy (SDL) and Employment Tax Incentive (ETI) have been put in place in order to financially encourage and provide opportunities for companies to invest in Learning and Development.

The growth of online learning has also provided major opportunities for businesses to access learning and development that is convenient and flexible to their unique working conditions. 

It goes without saying that skills development is a fundamental element of economic growth, social development and essentially the mitigation of poverty that plagues our country. 

Summit offers a wide range of training programs designed to meet the unique needs of businesses in various industries. With experienced training facilitators and a commitment to delivering quality and effective training, Summit is the ideal partner for any company looking to invest in skills development. Contact Summit today to learn how we can help your business thrive.