A management framework for training providers to improve skills development in the workplace

Doctoral thesis OPEN
  • Subject: Employees training management | Employee training personnel

D.Ed. A skills revolution was launched in the South African workplace by the Department of Labour in 1998. Various skills development legislation were introduced to meet international standards, redress skills imbalances, curb skills shortages and improve the general skills in the current workforce. Training providers were the drivers of workplace training, yet are now displaced by skills authorities, such as the SET As, the ETQAs and SAQA. While the custody of skills development is placed in the hands of employers and employees, training providers must become frontline soldiers in the skills battlefield. Rapid technological advancements, complex skills legislative requirements and ineffective internal management frameworks challenge workplace training providers. Training providers need to upgrade to OBE and NQF principles, provide and assess learnerships and skills programmes, and ensure that skills programmes allow employees to gain national qualifications and credits. Empirical research, undertaken in the midst of the skills battlefield, voices the opinions of managers, employees, training providers and skills authorities on the effectiveness and improvement of training providers to improve skills development. This research employed the multimethod approach using quantitative survey questionnaires and qualitative interviews to gather data on the management factors essential to providing training and improving workplace skills. Action field researchers, the skills legislative framework and current successful workplace management frameworks directed this socio-educational research. Empirical evidence reveals that training providers are challenged by workplace and skills legislation. The skills levy-grant system burdens workplace managers and training providers, yet creates incentives for annual skills grant recoveries. Training providers must provide job relevant training, continuous assessment and SAQA/NQF accreditation to be effective and improve skills development. The empirical research concludes that training providers must 'identify each training programme as a project and manage it well'. Basic management of workplace training entails managing skills development holistically, initiating and sustaining various skills projects and developing workplace skills plans in annual cycles. Implementation of skills projects include seeping, scheduling, cost, HR, quality and risk management. Research conclusions recommend an internal skills management framework for improving training providers to improve workplace skills development. The skills management framework integrates ten basic steps for SETA and SAQA compliance and nine operational elements of project management. The aim of this framework is to arm training providers, the skills soldiers, so that they can effectively revolutionise workplace skills development.
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