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Learning Industry News and Opinion

Minister wants top South Africa tech firms to provide workplace training for engineers

October 6, 2011 15:30 by Ann Pace

(From Engineering News) -- Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor is going to target South Africa’s Top 100 technology companies to urge them to take young engineers for experiential workplace training, she told Engineering News Online on Thursday. This will mark an expansion of a programme her department is already running, to get work places for newly graduated engineers so that they can obtain the required practical experience.

“We’ve felt that it is very important we [South Africa] have qualified engineers,” she explained. “They must achieve full qualification status. They must complete their experiential workplace learning. So we decided to invest in young people and talk to the business sector. The response was incredible.”

This programme was started in February last year but has so far been focused on engineering companies. The Department of Science and Technology (DST) partners with the companies taking part and provides support for the young engineers to complete their training. So far, the department has invested more than R20-million in this programme and has enabled 90 young engineers to undergo workplace training.

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South Africa: Every workplace must be a training space

August 4, 2011 15:00 by Ann Pace

(From 7th Space Interactive) -- There are almost three million young people who are not in employment, education or any form of training, and South Africa should be preoccupied with finding ways to address this problem before it explodes.

Speaking at launch of the KwaZulu-Natal Inter-Seta Forum, Minister for Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande said there are about 2 000 University of Technology students who cannot complete their studies and graduate because they do not have the workplace learning component required to do so.

The Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) have learnerships which are fully funded through the Skills Development Levy but most learnerships, said Nzimande, do not align with the needs of the students who are in public institutions.

"We have SETAs which have the capacity and resources to facilitate this," said Nzimande.
eThekwini Municipality mayor James Nxumalo, the chairperson of the KZN Inter-Seta Forum, Frank Ingram, and chair of the SETA CEO Forum, Joel Dikgole added their input on a variety of issues affecting the SETA landscape and the way they see the future.

Nzimande also called on all SETAs to open offices in the townships and rural areas and train skills development facilitators from the areas.

"Our rural areas are being depleted, while the urban areas are over-burdened. A false impression is created that there are no possibilities of creating viable economic activities in the rural areas. We must prioritise skills for rural development," said Nzimande.

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SA Learning & Development managers exceed global stds despite skills crisis

June 2, 2011 13:35 by jllorens

(From SkillsPortal.co.za) The 8th annual ASTD State of the South African Learning and Development Industry Report has been released. While growth in the South African economy is impeded by the skills crisis, skills development managers have risen to the occasion and implemented exemplary L&D practices in their organisations.

This annual survey questionnaire is sent to a sample of organisations both private and public to determine the state of skills development in the workplace. This survey is generally completed by the L&D departments and in many cases by the skills development facilitator or training coordinator.

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South Africa tackles skills shortage

January 14, 2011 16:55 by jllorens

(From southafrica.info) South Africa could not afford to have an economy "constrained by a severe lack of skills", Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said at the launch of the country's third National Skills Development Strategy.

While the first and second strategies had achieved much since the inception of the Skills Development Act of 1998, a severe skills lack was constraining the economy, Nzimande said in Midrand, Johannesburg on Thursday.

The third National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS III) was aimed at improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the country's skills development system.

"This strategy represents an explicit commitment to encouraging the linking of skills development to career paths, career development and promoting sustainable employment and in-work progression," Nzimande said. "The emphasis is particularly on those who do not have relevant technical skills or adequate reading, writing and numeracy skills to enable them to access employment."

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South Africa: Locals are 'workaholics'

October 20, 2010 20:34 by jllorens

(From iAfrica.com) A survey conducted in five countries shows that South African professionals in a typical workday spend most hours at their job.

The 2010 LexisNexis International Workplace Productivity Survey released on Wednesday found that South African professionals spent on average 9.5 hours of their day in the office.

Their counterparts in the United States spent 8.8 hours at their job while in the United Kingdom professionals were in the office for 8.2 hours.

In China and Australia 8.1 hours and 8.6 hours of time spent in the office were recorded respectively.

The study was fielded from June 2010 to July 2010 in South Africa among 300 professionals, the knowledge and information provider said.

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South Africa: Skills Gap Has IT Firms Worried Over Survival

May 28, 2010 13:01 by jllorens

(From AllAfrica.com) Johannesburg — THE shortage of South Africans with information technology (IT) skills is so acute it is making some South African businesses worried that they will be unable to survive, researchers say.

Last year 75% of the 157 businesses surveyed by online newspaper ITWeb and the University of the Witwatersrand's Joburg Centre for Software Engineering said the IT skills shortage was either having a major impact on their business or was affecting their viability, and in 2008 all 115 of the South African companies surveyed made this claim. With SA emerging from recession, it is arguable that this year the number making this claim could once again increase. (The 2010 survey is under way).

Despite the expansion in SA's telecommunications industry, and the way in which technological change has increased global demand for high-end IT skills because the various separate technologies such as voice, data and video are converging in new technologies, the numbers graduating in SA with high-end IT skills is not increasing significantly, says Sandra Burmeister, CEO of recruitment specialists Landelahni Business Leaders.

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South Africa: Lack of Skills Hinders Mining Sector Growth

March 2, 2010 16:26 by jllorens

(From AllAfrica.com) Johannesburg — THE growth of SA's mining sector could be hampered further by a serious lack of professional skills, according to a survey by executive recruitment firm Landelahni Business Leaders, released yesterday.

The shortage of skills in the sector coincided with an upturn in the global economy and a recovery in world commodity prices, which meant that the South African mining sector could miss out on the full benefits of the recovery.

The local mining industry is already battling higher production costs, and the strong rand during much of last year has seen most miners unable to optimise margins despite higher metals prices.

Landelahni CEO Sandra Burmeister said what was even more worrying was that the local industry had lost much of its skills development capability.

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Worldwide, lack of skills remains the basic problem

August 3, 2009 10:38 by jllorens

(From The Times) Global research commissioned by KPMG reveals that the economic slowdown has cooled the overheated project market to some extent, especially for large physical projects.

But the research finds that there are still fundamental problems with undercapacity.

“The performance of many projects has not been good as a result,” said Jeff Shaw, director for major projects at KPMG. “There is a shortage of skilled project managers globally, which has been alleviated only temporarily during the recession.

“We cannot rely on importing skills and it’s still expensive to cherry- pick, so we have to develop home-grown project managers.

“There is considerable concern about the industry’s ability to deliver on infrastructure requirements around the world in the medium term,” Shaw added.

“Our advice is that if projects repeatedly form part of your core business you ought to build a core capacity to have internal skills to deliver. Then, outsource to supplement your capacity during peaks as a one-off.

“Government is a particularly significant problem area; our research shows that, globally, 70% of infrastructure providers (whoever feeds into major projects) cite a lack of government effectiveness as a major constraint on delivery.”

Shaw said this was not the case in South Africa alone — in the US the rate was 72%.

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South Africa's focus on skills improvement

June 15, 2009 12:00 by flavioAdmin

(From the Dispatch Online) ONE of the major challenges that South Africa will need to overcome to become a competitive player in the global marketplace is the need to focus on improving and retaining those with the necessary skills sets.

So said East London Industrial Development Zone’s chief executive officer, Simphiwe Kondlo, at the Walter Sisulu University’s (WSU) business breakfast in East London last week.

“There are three main factors that international players look at before even considering investing in a country, that is the regulatory environment, the infrastructure platform and the human capital investment,” he said.

Focusing on human capital, Kondlo said many companies were not only assessing the diversity and depth of certain skill sets, but were also focusing on the attitudes and values of the work force.

(Read the entire article.)


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