Budgetary constraints impact BEE employment focus

As companies in the logistics sector struggle with Covid-induced budgetary constraints, the focus among employers is survival – which clearly has an impact on Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) goals. That’s the view of Juliette Fourie, founder and CEO of Metro Minds.

Commenting on whether companies were still serious about BEE, Fourie said there was still a lot of focus on the equity part of BEE and who employers needed to employ. “But the focus right now is getting the right person for the job.” “BEE is about spend and right now employers are choosing to spend less on skills development and enterprise development to get points and procurement because they would rather spend that money on trying to survive through Covid-19. Employers are focused on keeping their staff instead of spending money to get points for BEE.”

Covid-19 has resulted in the consolidation of job functions for companies across the world and means that many employees’ roles have become redundant, says Fourie. Automation and technology have become massive in the logistics industry. “This has helped logistics companies become more efficient, but the reality is that the labour aspect is in decline. To put it simply, companies no longer need as many staff members,” she adds.

“The logistics sector has become a professional industry compared to years ago and companies are looking for professionals. In the last ten years recruitment in the industry did not require individuals to have many qualifications to complete certain job functions, but now companies are looking for professionals. There is a lot of pressure to formalise qualified people.”

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