Motivate management to approve your Skills Development requests.
Some managers have difficulty in understanding why seemingly capable staff still want to attend educational events.
Training is an investment. Allocating a certain amount of training in each year’s budget allows employees to become more focused and more adept at their crafts, and empowers them to invest their time and effort back into their company. Employers who invest in training show that education is important to the company, and thus the company will see a tangible return on investment. Taking training courses enhances skills and raises performance levels, increasing the value and capacity of each individual. A modest investment in training can not only save money in the long run but can also increase revenue when the employee returns to work excited and invigorated with the new skills just learned.
Here are some practical ideas that can help encourage your manager to approve your Skills Development budget.
Make sure that the service provider is accredited by requesting copies of their accreditation certificates. Many companies claim to be accredited but are not.
Remind management that in some cases, your company can claim the fees back from their Skills Levy Fund. The Skills Act is designed to encourage companies to help educate and develop staff (see Skills Act summary below).
Ask for a group discount. Many companies will let you attend at no cost if you register five or more other people.
Arrange an appointment with your manager to discuss and highlight the topics that will be covered at the event. Tell your manager why you need to learn these new skills and what job functions you currently perform that you have not yet received formal training on.
Compare the cost of your attendance to the event with the cost of other events that managers have attended.
Arrange to give feedback to your colleagues after the event, just a short presentation on what you found most useful so that everyone benefits from your attendance.
Type a summary of “New Learnings” after the event and keep it handy on your desk. Give management a written report of your experience. Include at least one article of interest for Managers and a small gift or thank you card.
Plan your attendance well in advance – make sure that you are not away from office at a time when your manager needs you there.
Get someone to sit in your place while you are away – even if all your work is up to date, managers prefer a filled seat to an empty seat.
Include a section on “Personal and Professional Development” in your performance appraisal documents and job description.
Purpose of the Skills Development Act (Summary)
The purpose of the Skills Development Act is to develop the skills of the South African workforce
- To increase the levels of investment in education and training and to improve the return on investment;
To encourage employers –
- to use the workplace as an active learning environment;
- to provide employees with the opportunities to acquire new skills;
- to provide opportunities for new entrants to the labour market to gain work experience; and
- to employ persons who find it difficult to be employed;
- to encourage workers to participate in learnerships and other training programmes;
- to improve the employment prospects of persons previously disadvantaged by unfair discrimination
- to redress those disadvantages through training and education;
- to ensure the quality of education and training in and for the workplace;
To assist –
- work-seekers to find work;
- retrenched workers to re-enter the labour market;
- employers to find qualified employees; and To provide and regulate employment services.
Those purposes are to be achieved by establishing an institutional and financial framework comprising
- the National Skills Authority;
- the National Skills Fund;
- a skills development levy-financing scheme as contemplated in the Skills Development Levies Act;
- labour centres; and
- the Skills Development Planning Unit;
- encouraging partnerships between the public and private sectors of the economy
- to provide education and training in and for the workplace; and
- co-operating with the South African Qualifications Authority.