Businesses need to obsess less about BEE compliance and more on actual transformation

It is a sad reality that businesses are obsessed about BEE compliance, so much so that they forget about the actual transformation.

What’s happening in the MAC sector?

1 March marks the one-year anniversary of the Marketing, Advertising, and Communications Sector B-BEE Code updates. However, agencies have yet to unlock the benefits of the code. Skills development is the most effective of the six MAC B-BBEE criteria in delivering successful and sustainable transformation. Transformation, like any other strategic business objective, does not happen in convenient 12-month increments, and agencies need to obsess less about B-BBEE compliance (driven by short-term thinking) and focus more on actual transformation (underpinned by long-term goal-setting and strategic planning). Transformation plans should look at least three years into the future, and ideally even further.

Why is skills development so important?

There are many advantages to skills development both for the employer developing its staff, and the employees being developed. Because the employer now has better skilled staff, work is completed faster, with less mistakes, increasing the level of productivity which leads to a more profitable business. What better return on investment can any business ask for?

On the other hand: the employee that is being developed feels important because the business invested in him, which generally results in employees who take more pride in their work, experiencing an enhanced level of job satisfaction, leading to higher staff retention.

Businesses often express a concern about staff leaving after training. If an employee leaves once he is up-skilled it is likely that he was planning on leaving even before the training started. This is the reason it is so important to conduct a thorough analysis before embarking on any skills development programme.

Skills development is not limited to employees

Yet the MAC Code and other BEE codes do not limit skills development efforts to employees. There are several other initiatives that can help agencies and companies feed their business at entry level. A learnership is one such example.

Classified as Category C or D training on the Learner Programme Matrix, the Business Practice NQF 1 qualification offered by Triple E Training is the most popular learnership. Entry requirements for this learnership is ABET Level 3 for both numeracy and literacy. This means that agencies, and other companies, can recruit unemployed people, with basic levels of literacy, from within the community to take part in this learnership, therefore driving transformation at entry-level within the business.

Why plan for transformation through skills development three years in advance?

Let’s look at why it is important for agencies, and other companies, to plan for transformation through skills development three years in advance.

Planning skills development programmes in advance provides a clear outline of your training budget for a 3-year period. It also eliminates the need for annual procurement of a training service provider; in other words, the business can establish a long-term relationship with its service provider. Furthermore, it provides a start-up career plan for the learners involved in the programme.

How does a learnership work in practice?

At Triple E Training we manage the entire process for you. We recruit the correct number of unemployed, and/or disabled individuals, on your behalf. When looking at a typical 3-year plan we often start the learner on basic literacy training for two years, advancing them to the Business Practice NQF 1 learnership in the final year. Often, this leads to employment at entry-level, driving transformation from the bottom up.

One such success story is of a young man who lost both his legs after an accident. Because of his disability, he was never able to complete high school. We recruited him for a client’s 3-year skills development programme which started with basic literacy training. After two years, he could advance to the learnership. His positive attitude towards the training, and his persistence to achieve success, resulted not only in full-time employment but also in his new employer (our client) sponsoring prosthetics that enabled him to walk again!

Skills development changes lives

Skills development changes lives and therefore agencies, and companies, should stop focusing on BEE compliance, and start driving true transformation.

For more information call one of our skills development experts on 010 597 7611.