Get the basics right

Addressing the ever-growing skills gap has to start with getting the basics right, advises Juliette Fourie, director of Metro Minds. “Because the trade industry is developing rather than dying, certain skills gaps have widened and others closed,” she says. Fourie says companies have to start with the basics to address the skills gap. “Human Resources and training managers are there to facilitate and co-ordinate the implementation and solutions but line managers and supervisors should know their staff well enough to know where they have skills gaps that need to be addressed.”

She also advises that companies partner with a training provider to help them through the process of identifying their skills needs and planning solutions accordingly. “As a business you need to understand what the skills suppliers are able to do best for you and how they can customise and collaborate to suit your training needs for the long run,” says Fourie. “Education is not a quick fix but a long-term investment. Make sure you partner with a provider giving you a return on your investment.”

At the same time, she says, training should be simulated in the workplace. “There has to be more workplace simulated solutions and focusing on transformation for the long term – not implementing quick solutions for compliance only.” Practical experience remains a valuable part of training. “What makes workplace simulation so valuable is that through complete real-life scenarios, one can gain first-hand experience of the workplace, but without the risk of errors that are costly in real-life situations,” says Fourie. “We have started a supply chain of events to cater for our clients skills needs from beginning to end,” she says.

As a business you need to understand what the skills suppliers are able to do best for you. – Juliette Fourie

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