The role of skills development on employees' work performance : a case study of Inyathelo Training and Development.
Hadebe, Thenjiwe Patricia.
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Historically, the majority of South African people, particularly Blacks, were denied access to free, compulsory basic education. This means that many citizens did not have access to education that would provide them with the skills necessary for quality work performance. Various arguments in this study imply that work performance is linked to the skills employees have in the work they do. The previous Bantu education system failed to produce people with the necessary skills for the economy of the country. To compensate for this situation the present South African government introduced the Skills Development Act and Skills Levies Act which intended to provide the unskilled workforce with an opportunity to be trained and acquire skills. This is an investment in people through skills development, which is aimed at the improved work performance of the country's workforce. The study aims to: • Determine the impact of skills development programmes on employees' work performance; • Determine whether the skills learned are actually applied in practice; • Assess the general performance of a company through skills development of its workforce; and ••• Determine how accessible skills development programmes are to employees in this company. The research sample comprised ten facilitators, 15 employees and one employer. The data collected from the sample attempted to answer the following research questions: => What impact will skills development programmes have on employees' work performance? => What evidence there is that skills learned are actually applied in practice? => How the company performs in general when the workforce has undergone skills development programmes? => Whether the skills development programmes are accessible to the employees of the company? The findings revealed that skills development programmes in the company under investigation were valuable and useful to employees. This is evident from the improved work performance of employees as observed by the employer, who confirmed that the employees do job more quickly with less wastage and less supervision. The employer further confirmed that his company has attracted new clients who come for the sake of the service the company renders. The researcher concludes with the following recommendations: • The company should draw up a skills development programme schedule that will fit in well with its objectives. It is emphasised that these two aspects must not clash with each other, but instead complement each other so as to meet the set goal, that is, reselling of the workforce. This should be integrated to the organisational goal. • The company should spell out the aims of the skills development programmes and must make sure that these are well understood and adhered to by everyone in the company. This will aid in designing the programme according to the company's needs. • The fact that very little evaluation of training is done indicates the probability that although expenditure on training is great very little is done to ensure to improved competence and performance. The vast majority of employers still see training and development as purely cost, not investment. In this instance, the employers should be educated on the importance of investing in people through skills development programmes in order to gain improved work performance.