Now or Never - Addressing the Skills Gap in South Africa
by Tarryn Mason

The critical skills gap that exists in South Africa is a growing concern for many industries. One would assume, to combat this concerning lack of critical skills, employers would be investing more in learning and development (L&D). However, according to the annual Deloitte Human Capital Trends Report, the opposite is true. According to the report, which delves into the top human capital trends for South Africa, and other countries around the world, only 28% of South African employers say they’re helping employees build skills and roughly 30% of  companies say they do not have clear career paths within their organisation. This is a stark contrast to the statistics of other countries. The report indicates that globally, 83% of executives have identified L&D as crucial. In response to this, many organisations have started to help employees with continuous L&D to overcome the crit...
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Is Diabetes a Disability or Chronic Condition?
by Justene Smith

The painful and tragic death of kwaito artist Anthony Motaung, popularly known as Fatty Boom Boom or Tsekeleke, has highlighted the importance of gaining a greater understanding of Diabetes and its legislative status in South Africa. Some 7% of South African adults aged between 21 and 79 (3.85 million people) have Diabetes. World statistics are just as concerning. According to the World Health Organisation, four times as many people have Type II Diabetes today compared to 36 years ago. In 1980, 108 million people were diagnosed with Diabetes worldwide. By 2014, the figure increased to a staggering 422 million. Globally, about 1.5 million people died as a direct result of Diabetes in 2012.  Extensive research has been conducted into Diabetes and there is considerable information about the medical aspect of this condition, however, not much has been said from a legislative standpoint. D...
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Mental Health Matters
by Justene Smith

The month of July is Psychosocial Disability Awareness Month in South Africa, an important and momentous one as it highlights an all too often shunned and stigmatised topic: mental illness.  According to the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG), approximately one in five people will, or do, suffer from a mental illness including, but not limited to, depression, bipolar mood disorder, schizophrenia and anxiety disorders. With the number of people being diagnosed with a mental illness increasing annually, the importance of creating a deeper understanding and acceptance of this subject is paramount. Unfortunately, in many workplaces employees choose not to disclose, fearing the stigma and shame that is often associated with these conditions. Furthermore, employers may choose to avoid addressing and discussing mental health due to concerns around the consequences or perceived costs th...
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The Youth - the Future Workforce of SA.
by Tarryn Mason

June is a special month for our country as we celebrate 66% of South Africa's population, the youth. As a big part of the population, young people are at the heart of the future of South Africa. While South Africa’s history was driven by young people through the Soweto Uprising in 1976, more recently young people are facing many challenges in modern day society.  Unemployment and poor education are well known challenges many youths of today are faced with. However, this Youth Month I would like to bring awareness to another, lesser-known, challenge and problem plaguing the youth of South Africa - child abandonment and neglect. According to a fact sheet titled “Child Abandonment Research in South Africa” compiled by Dee Blackie, there were 18.5 million children (aged 0 to 17 years) in South Africa as of May 2014. Of this figure, 4.5 million children live with neither their moth...
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The Importance of Disability Equity Audits
by Candice Lambert

Disability Equity Audits can be better understood as  ‘disclosure campaigns’ and have been implemented by Progression since the business started in 2002. Through our in-the-field experience, Progression has found that not all staff members disclose their disabilities to HR personnel. There are various reasons for this, the main being a lack of knowledge as to what may be classified as a disability. All too often, staff are unaware that their condition falls within the definition of disability. In addition, employees are unsure as to whether the business is prepared to manage, or capable of handling, the disclosure, as well as how they will be treated during and after the disclosure process. In short, a Disability Equity Audit aims to increase employees’ understanding of disability. In addition, it aims to create awareness of the organisation’s disability disclosure proce...
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Combatting Unemployment one Learnership at a Time
by Tarryn Mason

It is extremely unsettling to know that 50.9% of South Africa’s youth are unemployed. It is therefore evident that more focus needs to be placed on how we can assist the youth in entering the job market without a formal tertiary qualification in order to contribute positively to the country's economy. The job market is a competitive one, with the requirements  for gaining first time employment becoming more out of reach for many young South Africans, especially for people with disabilities (PWD). A tertiary qualification and experience seem to be essential and appear on many employers’ list of requirements. Many dream of one day attaining a tertiary qualification however for most of South Africa’s youth, it remains just that - a dream. Due to the lack of funds, amongst other reasons, for many young South Africans a secondary, or even a primary education, is unobtainable, nev...
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Shedding Light on Disability in the Workplace

Written by Imogen Rossam. March 2017. As a Business Development Consultant for Progression, Melanie Bothma interacts with many clients across a range of industries.  An all too often occurrence however, is the existence of common misconceptions, prejudices and stigmas that she sees on a daily basis. Melanie discusses some of the most common of these with Progression’s Disability Expert, Justene Smith.  Justene gives us insight into alternative ways of thinking in order to promote transformation and social change. I know what a person with a disability can and can’t do Melanie:  I recently had a client who declined a very good learner for a learnership position.  When I asked why they declined him, I was told it was because he had one arm and it was assumed then that he wouldn’t be able to type or complete admin tasks.  How can I assist my clients to stay ...
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Skills Development Trends for 2017

January 2017 ‘Trends for the new year’ – a buzz phrase that fills our social media feeds as companies kick off the year by telling their clients “What to expect in 2017” or “What will drive your business to success in the new year”. The fact is that very often we don’t see anything new or different, just reminders of what we should have implemented the previous year or perhaps the year before. So to get you started from a Skills Development perspective, our team has compiled a brief list of what we think should be the ‘top of mind’ elements when preparing your Training and Development Programme for 2017. The role of technology in training and development Online and digital learning platforms are on the increase, allowing training and development to become accessible to a broader audience. Advances in software as well as affordability are ...
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Measuring Effectiveness of Employee Training and Development
by Beth Cook

December 2016 Employee training and development plays a critical role in advancing organisational performance, but is not always a priority for top management. HR Practitioners can make use of critical KPIs for employee development in order to justify the investment of time and money towards improving organisational talent. On-the-job training through mentorship programmes, short courses or skills programmes linked to employee roles or up-skilling a person into a new role through a learnership or bursary are just a few of the training interactions that organisations make decisions around each year.  The effectiveness of these programmes and the motivation behind their implementation can only be discovered if there are measurements put in place. Some of the standardised measurements or KPIs that can be adopted in order to understand the effectiveness of the training are highlighted below: Empl...
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Growing Critical Thinking in the Workplace
by Beth Cook

November 2016 At Progression we assess thousands of young school, college and varsity leavers for entry into the workplace or further skills opportunities each year. What constantly amazes me is that only a very small percentage of these individuals have the ability to think critically and strategically, a skill that would make them workplace ready. This is a skill that is missing regardless of the level of qualification that the candidate holds, the quality of the education facility they have graduated from or the amount of working experience they have achieved. Critical thinking skills involve logical reasoning based on available evidence and give an individual the ability to evaluate and improve on thought processes.  Above all it is the ability for an individual to think independently and link ideas in a way that is original and unique. So why are critical thinking skills such an important...
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