The B-BBEE QSE codes released on 6 May by the DTI recognises Persons with Disabilities under the Skills Development element. This was a welcome revision after the draft QSE codes released in Oct 2014 allocated no score or recognition for people with disabilities under any of the sections.
Tarryn Mason, General Manager at Progression comments, “Small businesses contribute significantly to the South African economy. It is everyone’s responsibility to create an inclusive work environment and ensure that people with disabilities are not marginalised.”
The new QSE codes also make provision for skills development expenditure for black people with disabilities, not just black employees. Previously any expenditure on skills initiatives outside of employees, for example a bursary, would have been recognised as Social Economic Development spend. “Companies that don’t have the capacity to increase their number of employees on site are now better geared towards achieving their target under the Skills Development element,” states Tarryn. “Up-skilling is therefore opened up to a wider group of people.”
Although this is offers exciting opportunities for both employers and unemployed individuals Progression feels that to be truly transformative, Skills Development needs to be linked in some way to workplace experience in order to add sustainable value to society. “After all the intention and purpose of up-skilling and development is for individuals to be economically viable. Therefore training for the sake of training needs to be discouraged, and future employability needs to be top of mind,” says Tarryn. This comment is supported by the bonus points offered to companies who make provision for a retention strategy within their Skills Development implementation.
The revised codes also recognise all categories of training under the Learning Programme Matrix (LPM), allowing businesses to engage in a variety of accredited and non-accredited training. “This is an excellent opportunity for organisations to invest in soft skills,” states Tarryn. “However it is again important to be mindful of the linking training to your overall company strategy and to ensure that training is not too informal.”
Progression offers a comprehensive Skills Development and Disability Employment Equity Solutions, and are perfectly positioned to assist companies invest in Skills Development which makes business sense. For more information on our products and services contact Candice Abrahams, Business Development Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org.