How will the tax rebate impact the training sector?


There has been a definite increase in the amount of companies up-skilling their staff in 2012 says David Sadie, Director of Imsimbi Training.

He believes this increase is largely prompted by employment equity policies and skills development rebates.

Sadie predicts a tough year ahead for the training industry as a result of the new grant regulations which see a 60% cut from the skills levy rebate to businesses. While hoping for the best, those in the training arena are preparing for the worst as most are expecting to see a substantial decrease in training expenditure during the 2013 period. We expect many jobs will be lost in the training sector due to the change in the above regulations.

On the bright side Sadie reports that more businesses are seeing the value in employee training and their investment into skills development is no longer being motivated by a legal obligation but rather because of a direct improvement in employee?s productivity.

This is a giant leap forward for the skills development sector as skills shortages continue to plague the country and government scrambles to raise up professionals who can implement its National Infrastructure Plan.

According to Sadie the country is buckling under the weight of under skilled managers and unproductive employees. The massive interest in Management Development Programmes at Imsimbi Training is evidence that employers are focused on equipping new managers with the right skills.

Some of the most popular courses for 2012 include Project Management, Supervisory Management and Financial Management programmes.

“Imsimbi Training has a 50% split between participants from the public and private sectors’, asserts Sadie. While both sectors have displayed an interest in developing staff, the private sector remains ahead of the game in terms of refined skills development strategies.

“The private sector is more geared towards creating Personal Development Plans (PDP) for employees.’ This enables businesses to receive maximum return for money as the training is targeted and hence more effective.

Sadie reports that the public sector occasionally hires junior Human Resource Development practitioners. These professionals do not have the experience to develop effective skills development strategies, needs assessments or PDP?s.

The organisation must then resort to mass employee training directed from the organization?s strategy and senior management directives rather than from the employees specific needs through PDP?s and as a result receive less value for their money.

In fact a worrying feature of public sector managers is besides lack of skills, is high turnover of staff and consequent deskilling of staff. Succession planning, coaching and skills development aligned to strategic results based management is absent or severely compromised.

Commenting on how organisations can improve their training interventions for 2013, Sadie advises executives to up-skill HR professionals. This will positively impact skills development in every other area of the business. Imsimbi offers performance management, talent management and recruitment training for novice HR practitioners.

Sadie also advises HRD professionals to focus on creating PDP?s for every employee based on performance appraisals and their own career goals. A targeted approach to training and development is the key to creating value for the organisation.

Finally, he cautions organisations in the public sector to reduce wasteful training travel expenses. He refers to the wasteful practice of certain public sector organisations in Gauteng who send employees to Cape Town and Durban to participate in training programmes which are offered in Gauteng. This is an unnecessary expense that can be eliminated.

“We support the effort to train the millions of unemployed youth, and place more resources and finances here, however we hope the additional money will be used wisely and effectively.’

By Cindy Payle – Skills Portal