What is the Meaning of Skills Development?

Skills Development in South Africa is a strategic priority for any business attempting to reach an acceptable Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment or B-BBEE level while meeting the requirements of the Skills Development Act.

What is the purpose of the Skills Development Act?

This Act was introduced by the South African government in 1998 in an attempt to rectify the high levels of unemployment and diminished interest in investing in the South African labour market due to the inequalities imposed in the past.

The purpose of the Skills Development Act for workers is to develop the skills of the South African workforce by improving career prospects, promoting self-employment and improving productivity in the workplace. Where employers are concerned the Act encourages them to use their workplaces as environments for active learning, create opportunities for employees to acquire new skills and improve overall prospects of those who have previously been excluded from training and education as a result of unfair discrimination.

Assisting with the placement of first time work-seekers and ensuring quality training is being given is also enforced by the Act.

What does Skills Development Mean?

The meaning of skills development is to identify where individuals have gaps in their skill sets and filling them through training, initiatives and education. This includes both hard skills (skills to complete specific tasks) and soft skills (more transferable skills like communication and time management).

By co-operating with the South African Qualifications Authority and institutional frameworks like SETA the Skills Development Act aims to create a skilled South African workforce that is self-sustaining through increased productivity and competitiveness in business.

Levies are granted for training, especially because the qualified training provided(according to the Act) benefits the employer and employees. The employer contributes to the Skills Development category, which contributes to their B-BBEE(BEE score), while employees build their skill set and employability.

To better understand how these levies are granted and the way in which the Skills Development Act is building a stronger South African workforce visit SERR Synergy.

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