From OECD and by Andreas Schleicher: this excerpt below reflects what I have just posted about our skills crisis and the reworking of our post-secondary education – Published in the Green Paper recently. It also reflects the article by Thomas Friedman posted a few days ago.
“…Moreover, this new ‘currency’ depreciates as skill requirements of labor-markets evolve and individuals lose the skills they do not use. The toxic coexistence of high unemployment and skill shortages in many countries today illustrates that producing more of the same graduates is not the answer. To succeed with converting knowledge and skills into jobs, growth and social outcomes which nations require, we need to develop a better understanding of those skills that drive strong and sustainable economic and social outcomes; we need to ensure that the right mix of skills is being taught and learned over the lifecycle of people; we need to develop effective labor-markets that use their skill potential; and we need better governance arrangements with sustainable approaches to who should pay for what, when and where. OECD’s new Skills Strategy is now providing a framework to support countries with building, maintaining and using their human capital to boost employment and growth and promote social inclusion.”
Employers who pay PAYE are obliged by National Legislation to contribute 1% of their wage bill to the Skills Levy Fund. The Mandatory Claims provision of this fund enables employers to claim back 70% of this amount on educating/training current employees. Since most employers are not claiming this amount the funds become available for payment under the Discretionary Grant provision. This means that the Discretionary Funds become available to competitors who are investing in the knowledge and skills development of employees. Those companies who are not training are weakening in a very competitive market, especially in these very difficult economic times.
If Skills Development Facilitators submit Workplace Skills Plans that include accredited courses from accredited providers, companies can properly reclaim on their skills levies paid, and position themselves for a strong competitive advantage when the economy “turns”. If training budgets have been cut, then this is the time to make full use of the Skills Development Fund. This is the magic moment, as the economy “turns”, to begin to train staff and secure a strong position for your company, ensuring improved employee relationships and staff who are able to align their personal goals with that of the company, whilst meeting equity and skills training targets. In the words of Dr Nzimande, workplaces need to become “training spaces”. The time is now.