Workplace training – a proactive solution to the skills crisis

Companies are developing the skills they need through workplace training programs. This includes quality Basic English literacy and maths instruction from a leading accredited training provider. These skills lay the foundation for further learning so that workers can develop their careers and improve their livelihoods.

Through their ongoing investment into workplace training, Triple E Training’s clients are developing the human capital they need to retain a competitive edge in the market. Moreover, they are proactively playing their part in solving the skills crisis in the country that continues to threaten the sustainability of many local industries. The onus also lies with companies to help develop the skills they need to ensure high levels of efficiency and productivity.

Companies that invest in workplace training are demonstrating a commitment to their employees. They are devoted to developing, as well as honing and refining their existing skills base so that it can continue to add value. Employees who undergo regular workplace training are also able to adapt to a rapidly changing economic landscape that is increasingly relying on skilled labour. This has been at the expense of low skilled employees, of which young adults and women are the most vulnerable. Workplace training, especially basic literacy and basic numeracy instruction, also creates a culture of lifelong learning among employees. This is opposed to“dead-end” jobs where there is very little or no scope for advancement and a means of improving livelihoods.

Triple E Training is a leading accredited training provider. The company specialises in adult education and training or “AET”, which includes instruction in basic English literacy and basic maths. These are both basic skills employees need to perform their jobs at optimal levels. They are also the foundational proficiencies that employees need to undergo further workplace training as part of companies’ skills development strategies.The company’s foundational learning competence or “FLC” training is the ideal solution for preparing workers for occupational training at a National Qualifications Framework or “NQF” level. This is after they have completed their adult basic education and training or “AET”as the next phase of their learning journey.

English literacy training for a proficient workforce
Basic communication skills benefit both employee and employer

Employees who have completed the basic English literacy component of our workplace training understand verbal instructions, as well as printed company communication and material.

Because basic English literacy skills help employees to quickly grasp new concepts, they can also efficiently assume new responsibilities in the workplace to further develop their careers. This, in turn, also fosters a passion for learning among workers that supports businesses’ skills development plans.

Sound basic communication skills also contribute towards successful teamwork within organizations to further bolster efficiencies and productivity levels. This is because literate employees understand clear instructions from their supervisors and exactly what is required of them to succeed in their respective jobs. They can also engage efficiently with co-workers to ensure seamless processes.

These many benefits of basic literacy training also support improved labor-management relations within businesses. Employees see for themselves that their employers are invested in their success and future with the company. They realize that participating in adult education and training or “AET” helps ensure job security and a sustainable livelihood. This helps to promote loyalty among workers who have also acquired skills that they can use in just about every facet of their lives outside of the workplace. They are, therefore, also more likely to stay in a company’s employ for longer. This enables employers to attract and retain the talent that they need to grow, over-and-above the efficiencies and productivity gains they realize from their continued focus on upskilling staff through quality workplace training. In fact, many enterprising companies also use their investment into workplace training to demonstrate their ongoing commitment to their teams. Moreover, adult education and training or “AET” in the workplace has also been identified as an important driver of transformation by empowering low-skilled workers. For this very reason, workplace training makes a substantial contribution towards the broad-based black economic empowerment scorecard of companies.

English literacy improves quality in the workplace
Basic communication skills reduce errors for improved performance

Employees who have completed our basic English literacy courses have improved self-esteem and confidence in their abilities. They perform their respective roles accurately to reduce errors and wastage.This, in turn, leads to significant cost savings and eliminates unwanted downtime.

Importantly, because they have confidence in their communication abilities, employees are also more willing to share their views with management on how to improve quality, productivity and efficiencies in the workplace. They may also now be more willing to report transgressions that they have observed that could potentially harm their company’s reputations or brands in the marketplace to their supervisors or managers.This is valuable feedback that can help improve operating protocol, as well as compliance with regulations and legislation. Compliance is of utmost importance especially in highly regulated industries. Failure to comply with, for example, safety, health, environment and quality or “SHEQ” standards can lead to the loss of contracts and customers. In extenuating circumstances, it can also result in loss of lives and debilitating injuries, as well as costly legal action and protracted or complete shutdown of operations by the authorities.

Basic literacy training reduces downtime
Basic communications skills bolster performance

Employees who have completed the accredited training provider’s adult education and training or “AET” are able to quickly process important information to reduce downtime and interruptions to workflow. In many instances, basic English literacy training has also helped employees increase their output. This is because basic communication skills improve decision-making capabilities. Workers who can communicate efficiently are also not over-reliant on their co-workers and supervisors to perform their duties as expected because they understand comprehensive instructions and explanations.

Because they are better listeners, literate employers are also more self-assured and focused on details when performing their respective duties in the workplace. In this way, basic communication skills also result in fewer errors and stoppages to production, in addition to contributing towards improved occupational health and safety or “OHS” practices in the workplace.

Because workers with basic English literacy skills are better able to process information, they are also more likely to accept change that will enhance production and efficiencies.This also facilitates the efficient transfer of employees to other areas of the business where they will be able to add more value. It is fact that people with strong basic literacy skills tend to learn quicker and, therefore, progress faster in their careers. This also enables companies to promote internally to avoid unwanted time spent on recruiting and training new employees for vacant positions. Bear in mind the length of time it can take new employees to become competent in their jobs, as well as the extensive time and resources it takes to train them to perform their jobs at optimal levels.

Many of Triple E Training’s clients also use adult education and training or “AET” classes to identify enterprising and talented workers who can be further developed for promotion.

Trends of labour force structure by education level, 2005-2014


Total (000)Total (000)Total (000)Percent distributionPercent distributionPercent distribution
By education200520092014200520092014
No schooling8236094494.9%3.3%2.2%
Less than primary completed2,1151,7341,39912.6%9.3%6.9%
Primary completed1,08096483435.1%5.2%4.1%
Secondary not completed5,8836,6547,42528.4%35.8%36.7%
Secondary completed4,7685,5526,46411.9%29.9%32.0%
Tertiary1,9872,8933,445
15.6%17.0%
Other1091912000.7%1.0%1.0%
Total16,76518,59718,333100.0%100.0%100.0%
Calculated by authors using STATS SA data, for various years

Labour force aged 15-64 years according to education level and job status, 2011


Level of educationLevel of educationLevel of educationTotal

Less than MatricMatricTertiary
Employed



Highly qualified jobs5,3%18,3%63,1%19,0%
Manager2,3%7,2%17,9%6,4%
Professional0,5%2,9%18,7%4,3%
Technician2,5%8,2%26,5%8,3%
Other occupation65,7%54,7%28,1%56,1%
Total71,0%72,9%91,2%75,1%
Unemployed29,0%27,1%8,8%24,9%
Total100,0%100,0%100,0%100,0%
Calculations based on STATS SA data.

Basic literacy skills facilitate meaningful engagement
Engaged employees have basic communication skills

Notably, employees who have sound basic communication skills are also more likely to ask questions and debate points that will help improve operating procedures. Astute employers will always consider ideas that have the potential to improve processes, especially when they come from people who have extensive experience working in specific areas of the business daily. This intricate understanding and knowledge of operational aspects of the business can, for example, help to significantly improve processes, as well as reduce pressure on employees and wastage.

When employees are more literate, informed and engaged, they are also more mindful about how their actions at work impact the bottom line of the company and, therefore, their livelihoods. This is because they are also aligned with their company’s ethos, mottos and visions. They understand them and apply this knowledge daily while carrying out their duties. For example, many businesses experience less absenteeism when their workforce is literate.

Importantly, basic communication skills also help improve communication with customers. This is especially relevant for those employees who provide front-line customer services. Basic English literacy training will help them communicate effectively with customers and clients. This leads to higher customer satisfaction and retention levels for businesses.

Basic numeracy skills in the workplace
Basic maths skills for calculations through to the use of numerical ideas and concepts

Workers apply their basic numbers skills in the workplace in several ways. These transcend the procedural application of maths. Employees use their basic numbers skills to solve problems, cope with change and to instigate improvement to efficiencies and quality, among others.

Many of our clients want employees who have basic numbers skills so that they can perform calculations with and without the use of calculators and computers. This is in addition to being able to perform estimations mentally. There are also many jobs that require the ability to calculate and interpret percentage and measure, for example, length, volume, weight, temperature and speed. These basic numbers skills work together with Basic English skills to communicate and comprehend maths information.

Employees who have completed the basic numeracy component of Triple E Training’s adult education and training or “AET” also understand ratios and proportions. This is in addition to being able to create and use formulae, as well as display and interpret data.

Basic numbers skills also enable employees to use and interpret graphs, charts and tables, as well as scale drawings, plans and diagrams. Their basic numbers skills also enable them to communicate ideas that relate to maths. People with basic numbers skills are also able to use technologies, such as computers, to complete maths-related tasks.

As an accredited training provider, we look forward to assisting you with your workplace training requirements. Learn more about our adult education and training and foundational learning competence instruction at www.eee.co.za.

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