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Human Resources Development Assignment

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Question 1
1.0 Introduction
1.1 ICT in South Africa
1.2 Economic of South Africa
1.3 Challenges of the local ICT industry
1.4 Global Trends in Human Resource Development
1.4.1 Globalization
1.4.2 Strategic HRD & Talent Management
1.4.3 Management Development
1.4.4 Performance Consulting
1.4.5 Performance Management & Appraisal
1.4.6 Training Design & Evaluation
1.4.7 Employment Equity & Diversity Training
1.4.8 Learning Organization
1.5 Conclusion

Question 2
2.0 Introduction
2.1 Purpose of SDA
2.2 How are the purposes of SDA achieved?
2.3 Interpretation of SDA
2.4 Barriers to implementation of SDA
2.5 Drivers for implementation of SDA
2.6 Conclusion

Question 3
3.0 Introduction
3.1 Implementation of the Training & Development Process
3.2 Conducting Skill Audit
3.3 Conclusion

Question 4
4.0. Introduction
4.1 Definition
4.2 E-learning Trends
4.3 Benefits of E-learning
4.4 Costs
4.5 Challenges
4.6 Learning Organization

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4.7 Conclusion
5.0. Reference List

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Question 1: Critically analyze and compare the challenges experienced in the local ICT industry, and
global trends in human resource development.

1.0 INTRODUCTION

According to Lesame (2013), the national and international data clearly indicated a considerable decline in
theusage of ICT and its services in South Africa. To that effect, a number of studies and empirical findings
have described ICT and the benefits of the usage of ICT, hence, Knowledge and Watkins-Mathys (2011),
reported that ICT is described as the use of any type of technology to support the collection of information,
along with the process and the distribution. Focusing to this particular research, ICT is classified into
information technologies and telecommunications thereby covering various types of technologies and are
illustrated in Figure 1.0. Taking into consideration a case study related to ICT and South Africa, this report
is hereby focused on the main challenged that are faced by South Africa and its relationship with human
resource.

Specialized
devices

Broadband Networks

Types of
Technologies
Wireless
Fixed-line
communication
telephones
devices

Mobile phones

Figure 1.0. - Types of Technologies


Own Source

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1.1 ICT IN SOUTH AFRICA

With reference to the study of Lesame (2013), other African countries such as Tunisia and Nigeria are
growing and developing more rapidly in terms of ICT when compared to South Africa. Several empirical
studies (Bladergroen et al., 2012) highlighted that the prospects of the economic growth of South Africa
have been pressurized since several years. Similarly, Gudmundsdottir (2010) pointed out that a number of
organisations have experienced the worst situation due to ICT. On the other hand, Kyobe (2011) proclaimed
that information technology will become more and more expensive and it is expected to accelerate cloud-
based computing due to the high hardware prices. In terms of the growth of GDP, South Africa expects a
growth rate between 0.7% and 1.5% in 2018. The government of the country provides much emphasis on
the ICT sector as they are planning to add VAT to the petrol taxes so as the ICT sector is easily targeted
(Jain, 2006).

There are also some studies that are focused on the achievements of ICT in South Africa. In this strand, the
country was also ranked on the 14th position across the world for the registered internet domains. South
Africa is also known to be an early adopter of internet, but, however in 2001 the position of country was
ranked 26th owing to the competitors who insistently develop their ICT. Present statistics also revealed that
there are around two million internet users in South Africa, but, the services of ICT are not being exploited
(Rogerson, 2014).

1.2 ECONOMIC OF SOUTH AFRICA

According to an economic report, the economic outlook of South Africa is known to have been improved.
The report also revealed that the country is recovering from the difficult situation which took place in 2015
and 2016 and led to severe drought. Nevertheless, it is noted that the country remains restrained by the low
growth potential. To that effect, slow investment growth and weak incorporation into the value chains avoid
the country from having new economic opportunities. Hence, it is therefore noted that South Africa must
build on its comparative benefits, herein, an industrial skilled economy whereby international and domestic
markets are developed through innovation and productivity. To that effect, the country will then diminish its
dependency on commodity price movements that is not favorable (Cross and Adam, 2007).

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1.3 CHALLENGES OF THE LOCAL ICT INDUSTRY

The ICT industry in South Africa is experiencing numerous challenged due to the fast-growing digital
economy. Kyobe (2011) highlighted that the diffusion and the adoption of ICTs contribute greatly to the
economic development of a country. The author thereby examined the issues evolving around the adoption
of ICT in South Africa since these particular countries lags the rest of the world in the adoption of
technology. The investigation of Kyobe (2011) therefore reported that skills development, infrastructure,
training, e-commerce adoption and scarcity of human resources are the most important challenges that the
country faces.

In line with Kyobe (2011), the sub-Saharan African region has the least developed ICT infrastructure across
the world. For ICT to be adopted effectively, it is imperative that the fundamental infrastructural
requirements are in place. For essence, it is essential to have the accessibility and continuous supply of
electricity. In addition, the commitment of the stakeholders and the government is also importance. In the
case of South Africa, it is identified that the rural infrastructure constantly deteriorates thereby leading to
poor education and also unsuccessful telecommunication links. Several studies (Lesame, 2013; Mutula and
Mostert, 2010) also revealed that South Africa has a lack of financial resources and human capital thereby
restraining the capacity of the government to offer social services. South Africa is viewed to have better
infrastructure when compared to other African countries, but, however underdeveloped infrastructure in its
rural areas still cause major hindrance to the adoption of the internet. Lesame (2013) argued that only when
the issues across the cost of telecommunications and the accessibility of ICT infrastructure are achieved,
ICT in South Africa will eventually be improved.

Kyobe (2011) also pondered on the education factors which cause several hindrances for ICT. In this strand,
Alden and Soko (2005) proclaimed that innovations are used effectively and efficiently only when the users
are trained and educated about the use of the new technology. In addition, the users must also be aware of
the necessary skills and abilities that are required to use the new technology. To that effect, Lesame (2013)
argue that education has the effect of amplifying the ability of the aspects to generate growth and income. In
the study of Lesame (2013), that is based on the adoption of e-commerce in the developing countries, it is
worth pointing out the lack of knowledge and skills is the main challenge to benefit the advantages of e-

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commerce. Thus, low level of computer literacy is a main hindrance for e-commerce. Eventually, Alden and
Soko (2005) underlined that poor planning, the level of illiteracy and the lack of information technology are
the major issue for usage of ICT. In addition, the local ICT industry experiences challenges in looking for
employees with the necessary skills as the main issue lies in the foundation of awareness of ICT in schools
and in universities.

Referring to the study of Lesame (2013), economic factors also have a key role in the adoption and
adaptation of ICT. Building on this, raising funds for investment in technology and ensuring that the returns
are obtained from these particular investments is a major challenge. Enterprises in the developing countries
do not have enough financial resources to acquire new technologies and moreover the returns on
information technology may also not be evaluated due to the lack of accounting and technical skills.
Referring to South Africa, Kyobe (2011) highlighted that not many people use internet in the country due to
the poor communication infrastructure and the high costs involved in telecommunications.

Moreover, this situation is worsened further as broadband access, particularly access to fixed broadband,
compared to other lower-middle income countries remains very low. Lancaster, (2016) states that South
Africa’s telecom sector boasts one of the continent’s most advanced networks in terms of technology
deployed and services provided. Nevertheless, the fixed-line infrastructure for many years suffered from
under-investment by the monopoly incumbent Telkom. The poor level of service encouraged the growth of
the mobile sector for the provision of voice and data services. As a result, the mobile sector has become a
key driver of the overall market. As well as carrying most voice traffic, mobile networks account for 97% of
all internet connections.

The training audience comprises of IT professionals, but, it is replaced by system end-users. The
introduction of IOT (Internet of Things) , big data, cyber security and robotics, having IT professionals who
can deal with the different trends of technology is a necessity. The local SETA (Skills Education Training
Authorities) should provide much focus on the ways to recognize all the international vendors. Referring to
the local NQF (National Qualifications Framework)IT professionals with required credentials are also
needed.

The evolving trends and technologies are leading the training companies to re-design the way the training
sessions are delivered. To that effect, the right strategy must be devised whereby much focus must be
provided on marketing and extra benefits to compete effectively.

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With fast pace of life and limited resources, blended learning has become an increasingly popular form of e-
learning since it is cost-effective for both customers and training vendors. Nevertheless, employees have to
look for time to attend the trainings and the young employees are not keen to do so.

1.4 GLOBAL TRENDS IN HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT

1.4.1 GLOBALISATION

According to Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, Wright (2016), the environment in which organizations operate is
rapidly becoming a global one. More and more companies are entering into international markets by
exporting their products, building facilities in other countries and forming alliances with foreign companies.
At the same time, companies are also increasingly investing and setting up operations in United States.

Most certainly, the local ICT industry will benefit from globalisation as this will enable the immigrants with
the required skills to fill in the gap in the industry. Further, a gap analysis can also be conducted thereby
helping in identifying the right skills that are required.

1.4.2 STRATEGIC HRD AND TALENT MANAGEMENT

According to David (2011), strategic management is described as the art and science for formulating,
implementing, and evaluating cross-functional decisions that enable an organisation to achieve its
objectives. On the other hand, Grobler et al. (2006) describes Strategic Human Resource Management
(SHRM) as making those decisions that define the overall mission and objectives of the organisation,
determining the most effective utilization of its resources and crafting and executing the strategy in ways
that produce the intended results.
Figure 2.0. shows a model of strategic HRM that the local ICT industry can adopt to address its issues.

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Figure 2.0. - A model of strategic HRM


Source - Grobler et al. (2006)

Employee skills (internal environment), which is the main issue to be addressed, can be compared to the
external environment which includes market trends and technology to assess the needs of the local ICT
industry. Talent management is another important aspect of SHRM that will contribute in addressing the
needs of the local ICT industry by recruiting the right candidates to meet its demands.

Heathfield (2018) states that talent management is an organisation's commitment to recruit, hire, retain, and
develop the most talented and superior employees available in the job market.

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1.4.3 MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENT

Management development is important as it is a process where the managers of organisations learn and at
the same time improve their skills.

Heathfiled (2018) states that management development is the overall concept that describes the many ways
in which organizations help employees develop their personal and organizational skills, either as managers
in a management job or with an eventual management job in mind.

The ICT business is expanding rapidly and managers in the field should be well acquainted with its
technical demands so that they can deliver the required training to their subordinates to achieve
organisational goals.

1.4.4 PERFORMANCE CONSULTING

Performance consulting is a strategic process that produces business results by maximizing performance of
people and organizations. The use of the word strategic is purposeful. Strategic work is critical to sustaining
future business and organizational success. Performance consulting is a process used to partner with
management on these types of initiatives (Robinson et al., 2015)

Robinson et al. (2015) further states that performance consulting process is a defined flow of steps that
produces strategic outcomes of importance to the business. These outcomes are long-term in scope and
directly related to the organisation’s sustained success.

The process steps are incorporated into four phases of work and are exemplified in Figure 3.0.

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Report and
sustain results
Implement and
measure
solutions
Assess business
and performance
needs

Identify
strategic
opportunities

Figure 3.0. - Performance Consulting Process


Own Source

The local ICT industry will definitely need to implement the process of performance consulting as this will
allow it to assess its short comings in terms of skills level. In the same stride, the local SETA can adopt this
same strategic process to benchmark the international vendors’ standards as well as the NQF standards.

1.4.5 PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT & APPRAISAL

Performance management is the continuous process of identifying, measuring, and developing the
performance of individuals and teams and aligning their performance with the organisation’s goals Dessler
(2014).

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Figure 4.0.shows the three-step performance appraisal cycle.

Figure 4.0. - The three-step performance appraisal cycle


Source - Dessler (2014)

From the definition above, it is important to note that performance management and appraisal is a
continuous process and is adjusted as per organizational goals. The continuous process will ensure that
managers are always delivering as per organizational goals and that subsequent specific goals are being
set for their subordinates to achieve the overall desired output. The employees’ performances are then
appraised for any subsequent corrections and coaching. The local ICT industry, together with training
providers, in its search for the right candidates can adopt this same process to iterate towards the desired
skills level.

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1.4.6 TRAINING DESIGN & EVALUATION

ICT skills are in the forefront of the fast-growing digital economy and with the rapid evolving trends and
technologies; the ICT sector is experiencing an extensive change across a wide range of areas. Training
companies face a real challenge to deliver carefully designed trainings that will meet organisations’
requirements.

Snelland and Bohlander (2013) refer to the below model of training, shown in Figure 5.0., as the strategic
approach to training.

Figure 5.0. - Strategic model of training


Source - Snell. and Bohlander (2013)

Conducting phase 1 of this model, that is, organization, task and person analysis should give managers a
more complete picture of the training needs of their organizations. The 3 steps of phase 1 can be defined as
follows:

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Human Resources Development Assignment

 Organisation analysis : An organisation analysis is an examination of the environment, strategies,


and resources the firm faces so as to determine what training it should emphasize (Snell and
Bohlander, 2013).
 Task analysis: Task analysis involves reviewing the job description and specifications to identify the
activities performed in a particular job and the KSAs (knowledge, skills and abilities) needed to
perform them (Snell and Bohlander, 2013).
 Person analysis : A person analysis involves determining which employees require training and,
equally important, which do not (Snell and Bohlander, 2013).

Once phase 1 has been carried out the design of the training program can be determined. Snell and
Bohlander (2013) further underlined that experts of the subject believes that the design of training programs
should focus on at least four related issues, namely:

1. The training’s instructional objectives


2. Trainee readiness and motivation
3. Principles of learning
4. Characteristics of instructors

Effectiveness of training programs are constantly evaluated by the company to determine whether the
investment have been spent properly or not.

1.4.6 EMPLOYMENT EQUITY & DIVERSITY TRAINING

In any organization individuals should have equal treatment in all aspects of employment policy or practice.

Mathis and Jackson (2011) pointed out that individuals should have equal treatment in all employment-
related actions and are protected against illegal discrimination based on race, ethnic origin, color, gender,
age, physical or mental disabilities, military experience and religion.

Diversity training seeks to eliminate infringements on legal rights, and to minimise discrimination,
harassment, and lawsuits (Mathis and Jackson, 2011). However, Mathis and Jackson (2011) argued that it
draws more attention to the differences than actually breaking them down.

Putting the above-mentioned into context, employment equity will be more advantageous to the local ICT
industry as it will bring more individuals with different skills hence capitalising on everyone’s talents and

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Human Resources Development Assignment

abilities. Diversity training on the other hand requires a more cautious approach to be considered as a
contributing factor to the challenges of the ICT industry.

1.4.7 LEARNING ORGANISATION

Learning organizations are organizations where people continually expand their capacity to create the
results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective
aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning to see the whole together ( Senge, 1992).

Nurturing the concept of a learning organization as described above should be the ultimate goal of the ICT
industry but the immediate task should be to assess and address its issues at the foundation level.

1.8 CONCLUSION

Globalisation has brought new trends impacting the way business is being conducted in the world. Cross-
border exchanges due to globalisation have brought new technologies and work culture. As a result, HRD
(Human Resource Development) has been experiencing an inevitable change in the way it should operate
and is becoming a strategic partner in business instead of a mere department managing resources, hence,
strategic HRD is more talked about. HR people are involved in the contributions to business decisions and
are required to develop business acumen to understand how a profitable business is run. Global trends in the
HRD are challenging the ICT industry to ensure that human talent is used effectively and efficiently to
accomplish organisational goals.

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Question 2: Discuss the purpose of the Skills Development Act 97 of 1998 and provide
recommendations on its implementation to address the challenges identified in Question 1

2.0 INTRODUCTION

SDA is a law that is enacted in South Africa and is described as Skills Development Act and the commence
date of the Act is 10th September 1999. It is worth to highlight that the Department of Labor established the
Act. The very purpose of this particular Act is to ensure that the skills present in a workplace are developed
and improved. In addition, SDA also aims at improving the life of the employees and self-employment is
also promoted. The SDA also encourages the employees to participate in the learning programs and through
SDA the quality of learning in a workplace is also ensured. Referring to productivity, SDA also aims at
improving the level of productivity and also the level of competition among the employers. SDA also
increase of the level of investment in training and education and also to increase the return on that specific
investment made. With reference to the employers, SDA provides a learning environment whereby the
employers are provided with opportunities to obtain new skills and abilities. This Act is consequently
focused on explicit areas such as creating an outline for the growth of skills and the development of the
employees at work (Jinabhai, 2005).

2.1 PURPOSE OF SDA

SDA has a number of purposes. In this strand, first and foremost SDA aims at developing the skills of the
employees in South Africa. To that effect, the quality of their life is improved. SDA is also focused on the
prospects of the work and the mobility of labor. Referring to the employees, SDA also aims at improving
the delivery of the social services and provides the employees with opportunities for self-development.
Furthermore, the purpose of SDA is also to develop the productivity in the place of work and at the same
time the competitiveness among the employers (Lynham and Cunningham, 2004; Jinabhai, 2005).

SDA also aims at increasing the level of investment in training and education and improving the return on
that specific investment made. Relating to the employers, the purpose of SDA is to provide an active
learning environment whereby the employees have the opportunities to gain new abilities and skills.
Moreover, SDA also provides the new entrants with opportunities to gain work experiences and also to
employ individuals who find it difficult to be employed (Lynham and Cunningham, 2004; Jinabhai, 2005).

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SDA also aims at encouraging the employees to participate in learning programs and to ensure that the
quality of learning provided to the employees is ensured and maintained. SDA also improves the
employment prospects of individuals who previously undergone unfair discrimination and provides them
with training and education to rectify those disadvantages. Eventually, the purpose of SDA is to also assist
the employees to look for a job, assist the retrenched employees to re-enter the labour market and to assist
the employers to look for the employees with the right skills and knowledge (Lynham and Cunningham,
2004; Jinabhai, 2005).

2.2HOW ARE THE PURPOSES OF SDA ACHIEVED?

In order to achieve the mentioned purposed of SDA, it is fundamental to have an institutional and financial
framework that consist the National Skills Authority (NSA). According to the republic of South Africa, the
main role of the National Skills Authority is to recommend and inform the minister on the national skills
development strategies involving guidelines on that implementation of the NSA. The NSA is also
responsible for ensuring that all the pertinent stakeholders are given opportunities to implement trainings
sessions. It is also important to mention the need for intensifying the operation capacity of NSA through
qualified human resources so as value is added to the labor research. Strengthening NSA is essential to
boost the capacity to provide advice to the Minister (Kaplan, 2004).

Additionally, National Skills Fund is also imperative. Having skills development institutes will help the
employees to improve their existing skills and also to help them to acquire new skills that are required in the
market. The purposes of SDA can also be achieved by encouraging alliances between the private sector and
the public sector if the economy aiming at providing learning for the workplace (Kaplan, 2004; Groener,
2013).

As mentioned above, the purpose of SDA is to redress the disadvantages that certain employees have faced
in their previous employment. To that effect, affirmation action can be adopted for the selection of
employees to carry out the training and development programs. It is also worth highlighting that training of
human resources and developments is significant since it must concentrate on the long term institutional
performance implications, herein, the impact of a changing workplace demographics attributes (Kaplan,
2004; Groener, 2013).

The objectives of SDA can also be achieved through National Skills Development Strategy also known as
NSDS. The major mission of NSDS is to subsidise to the sustainable development of skills growth and the

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development of fairness of skills development institutions by supporting the work of the employees and the
resources to the skills required for effective and efficient delivery. The very aim of NSDS is to provide
institutional framework whereby workplace strategies are devised and implemented so as the skills of the
workers are developed and improved (Groener, 2013).

Sector of education and training authority also known as SETA is responsible for the developing of skills by
developing strategies, the implementation of plan by establishing learner-ships, by endorsing the workplace
skills plans and eventually by allocating grants and criteria to the training providers and the employers. It is
also found that SETA experience instantaneous pressure to offer skills planning and its implementation
(Louw and Duvenhage, 2016; Tshilongamulenzhe, 2015).

2.3INTERPRETATION OF SDA

The Skills Development Act is enacted to address the consequences the high rate of unemployment and the
high level of poverty, distorted income distribution and the access to several opportunities while attracting
foreign investment. This particular Act encourages the employers to develop and to create opportunities for
the employees for training. Besides, this Act also improves the skills of the employees while increasing the
productivity enabling South Africa to become more competitive in this global economy (Kaplan, 2004).

2.4 BARRIERS TO IMPLEMENTATION OF SDA

SDA has numerous benefits, but, however there are also many barriers for the implementation of this
particular Act in South Africa. Hence, first and foremost, there are few workplace opportunities. As there
are limited workplace opportunities only a group of employees will be able to benefit the programs provided
to them to improve their skills and eventually there will always be a group of people who will not benefit
these programs. Secondly, studies have also revealed that there is low employer participation. Referring to
SDA, the employers are also highly responsible to providing the employees with trainings sessions so as
their skills are improved, but, with a low participation among the employers, not all employees will have
their skills improved. Financial limitations are also perceived as a barrier to implement SDA. South Africa
is also experiencing high level of poverty and in this situation investing in SDA is costly. The outcomes and
results of the trainings programs provided to the employees are also poor. Thus, since the results are of poor
quality, the employers have lost much time in providing the trainings which is completely in vain as the
expected outcome is not present. Another barrier for the implementation of SDA is the non-completion of
the training programs. As employees do not find the training programs interesting and fruitful, they will not

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be attending these training programs and eventually the employers will be at loss. The barriers of
implementation of SDA also involve no tangible benefits whereby the employees will be able to show their
skills that they have acquired during the training programs. Only in the long term or after several years of
work the benefits of the attending the training programs will be seen. Short period of training programs is
perceived as a barrier since employees usually forget what they have learnt when they do not put into
practice the skills they have learnt. Hence, the short period training programs are not beneficial in the long
run. Other barriers for the implementation of SDA involve skills mismatch, corruption, limited range of
training programs offered, weak training provider systems, shortage of learners and limited availability of
information of SDA (Kaplan, 2004; Louw and Duvenhage, 2016; Groener, 2013).

2.5 DRIVERS FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF SDA

There are several ways to overcome the barriers for the implementation of SDA in South Africa. Hence,
firstly it is essential to increase public awareness for the importance of skills trainings. As the public will
become aware of the importance and the benefits of attending the skills trainings, they will definitely attend
these trainings since this will somehow reduce their poverty. As it is noted, the employers are reluctant to
provide the trainings programs, hence in order to overcome this barrier; the employers should be encouraged
for giving the workers trainings programs. At the same time, the learners should also be encouraged to
attend these programs. The quality outcomes of the trainings programs should also be improved whereby the
newly acquired skills of the workers will be helpful in the future. Most importantly, it is important to
eradicate corruption in SDA. Information about SDA should also be readily available, the duration of the
training programs must be increased and finally, competence of the training providers should be improved
(Kaplan, 2004; Louw and Duvenhage, 2016; Groener, 2013).

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2.6 CONCLUSION

There are several objectives for the implementation of SDA in South Africa, herein, SDA encourage skills
programs, the skills of the workers in the country are developed, the quality of the training and education is
ensured, the participation of the employers and employees in the learning programs is increased,
competitiveness is improved, the level of productivity in workplace is also improve, self-employment is
promoted and many more. However, this section also provides the barriers to implement SDA, for example,
financial limitations, poor quality of training results and many more. Eventually, this section also provided
the drivers for the implementation of SDA, herein, increase the duration of training programs and eradicate
corruption.

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Question 3: “To help address the skills gap, Vorster says, CompTIA provides a free skills gap
assessment that highlights the gaps and shows where CompTIA's foundational skills can address the
gaps that exist.” As inferred by the article, in order for an organization to meet its business needs, it
must establish its skills status. Recommend the training or development processes your company
could apply to achieve this.

3.0 INTRODUCTION

Skills development trainings have numerous advantages whereby having specialised set of skills increase
the opportunities for employment. Similarly, skills development trainings broaden the opportunities for the
employees and besides, several areas are addressed, for instance, time management and communication
skills (Jinabhai, 2005). Knowledge and skills are the driving forces for the economic growth of any country.
Skills and knowledge have become more significant due to the increase pace of globalisation and the
changes in technologies. Countries which have better and higher level of skills, adjust more efficiently and
effectively to the opportunities and challenges that are presented (Detsimas et al., 2016). Referring to South
Africa, as determining the skills of the employees is imperative, it is also essential to have the right training
strategies to determine the skills of the employees.

A number of studies (Elshaer and Augustyn, 2016; Longenecker and Ariss, 2002), have reported that skillful
employees create competitive advantage. Fareed et al., (2017) highlighted that employees are considered as
assets for companies. In this strand, employees who are highly skillful are difficult to replace and at the
same time the way they work is also difficult to be replaced thereby creating competitive advantage. In the
same view, Longenecker and Ariss (2002) stated that the quality of employees and their skills are viewed as
key components for long-term profitability of the organisations. To that effect, Elshaer and Augustyn (2016)
reported that the investing in trainings and providing the employees with development programs will
eventually increase their efficiency which will eventually create a positive impact on the company thereby
creating competitive advantage.

According to Tariq et al., (2004), skill audit is the process to recognize skills gaps within an organization
whereby the result of the skills audit is trainings. Skills audit has numerous advantages whereby
development and training of employees are targeted, but, however the authors also pointed out that skills
audit does not access the present level of skills and recognise the shortcomings.

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As mentioned by Hussain et al., (2016) training and development is essential to address the lacking skills.
The training and the development of employees is a requisite part of human resource function and
management. The aim of both activities is to improve the performance of the employees. However,
development is different from training. Sharma (2014) provided major differences between training and
development whereby the authors highlighted that training is a learning process whereas development is a
training process. In line with Simpson, Schraeder and Borowski (2015), training is described as a program
to develop the skills and the knowledge of the employees according to the requirement of the job
description. Training is a short-term process and it is job oriented. Conversely, Towler, Watson and Surface
(2014) described development as an educational process that is related to the growth of the employees.
Development is on the other hand long-term and is focused on the future and is career oriented.

Among all the benefits of training and development, productivity and efficiency of the employees are
increased as the employees are always updated about the new developments (Sharma, 2015). Additionally,
through training, the necessary skills of the employees are improved thereby empowering them to tackle
tasks independently. Besides, through training and development the hidden skills of the employees are
developed thereby allowing the employees to become future leaders (Towler, Watson and Surface, 2014).
Moreover, training and development address the weaknesses of the employees whereby they are hindered to
give their best output. In this strand, training programs eliminate the weaknesses while development
programs help the employees to acquire the appropriate skills and knowledge (Hussain et al., 2016).

3.1 IMPLEMENTATION OF THE TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT PROCESS

According to Towler, Watson and Surface (2014), training of employees is the responsibility of the
organisation while employee development is described as a shared responsibility of the management.
Hence, the responsibility of the management is to offer the employees the right resources and an
environment which supports the development and growth of the employees.

For successful training and development programs for employees, Sharma (2015) stated that the
management should provide a job description that is precise and concise as it is the source of the employee
development and training activities. Next, it is the responsibility of the supervisor to provide trainings to the
employees to meet the indispensable competencies for the job. Learning opportunities should also be
present in day to day activities. Objectives and goals must be identified for the development plan of the
employees. Also, good understanding of knowledge and skills must be available for the employees.

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Beidas et al., (2011) listed seven steps that are required to create a successful training and development
program. To that effect, it is firstly important to assess the organisational development and training needs.
Next, the training objective must be well defined whereby the responsibilities of the employees in
accomplishing the organisation goals should be highlighted. Thus, Kamarubian (2013) pointed out that the
training must be measurable and achievable. The next step is training program design which involves
content matter, content flow, learning and instructional methods. Step four is the adoption of training
principles whereby it is task oriented focused. The next step that is based on the training program
development involves training notes, for example, charts and presentations are available for the employees.
Step six is the training program implementation whereby the resources of the training activities are focused
on and the training activities are scheduled. The last step is the evaluation of the training program whereby
it is necessary to obtain the feedback of the employees who attended the training and development program.
The evaluation of the training program also consists of employee assessment and program assessment.

3.2 CONDUCTING SKILL AUDIT

According to Tariq et al., (2004), the aim of skill audit is to recognise the present set of skills within a
company and the knowledge and skills that the company will require in the future. Usually, the employees
have hidden skills and knowledge only because the companies do not know how to access these skills.
Elliston and Wilkinson (2006) claimed that skills audits are usually carried out when there is a need for
restructuration.

It is the responsibility of an auditor to carry out the skills audit and the main skills that the auditor requires
are problem solving skills and abilities to work under pressure (Elliston and Wilkinson, 2006). Hence, this
section is based on conducting a skill audit for a management company, namely, Azure Consultants
Limited.

In view of Shankar (2014), skill audit is carried out in six steps whereby the first step involves a list of the
roles within the organization followed by a list of the all required skills needed for each mentioned roles
(first list). To that effect, the roles at Azure Consultants Limited involve accountants, junior corporate
administrator, senior corporate administrator, human resource assistant and data entry operator. Building on
this the responsibilities and duties for each job position were listed. The third step consists of creating a
survey which is then followed by a survey of the workforce. In the fifth step, the results are compiled and
finally the data is analysed.

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Human Resources Development Assignment

The data collection and analysis eventually revealed that the skills of the employees are not fully used
within the company and that the employees are to look for more challenging tasks where they can use their
skills and knowledge to show their capabilities.

The action plan is consequently focused on providing the employees with cross-trainings whereby helping
them to understand the main functions of the different departments. The training would also include the
main duties of the different job positions. Next, the employees would be given the opportunities to work in
different departments where they can use their skills and abilities in different tasks. In order to see if the
training is successful, the performance of the employees for the completion of the new tasks will be
measured.

In order to carry out the training activities, external training provider is selected as this training provider will
provide a new perspective on the way the work should be done. Similarly, an external consultant will
question about the viability of the ideas and the proposed solutions. A third party is completely objective
since employers and workers are usually reluctant to train their colleagues.

The training of the employees will be designed for a short period whereby after the training the employees
will have to complete the tasks that they were trained on. For the employees to be well acquainted with the
new responsibilities and duties, day to day activities will be organised and eventually the effectiveness of
the training will be measured through the performance of the employees. As a result, constant monitoring
and feedback is necessary as it is important to be aware of where the employees have gone wrong.

3.3 CONCLUSION

To conclude, this particular section is focused on training and development of the employees. As such, the
differences between training and development are pointed out and the benefits of training and development
are highlighted. Skills audit is also pondered on whereby Azure Consultants Ltd is selected to carry out the
skills audit. The results and the analysis revealed the type of trainings that should be given to the employees
and eventually much emphasis is also laid on the measurement of training.

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Human Resources Development Assignment

Question 4: With reference to the article, provide an in-depth, critical discussion on the compatibility
of the concepts of e-learning and learning organizations

4.0 INTRODUCTION

4.1 DEFINITIONS

According to Eke (2010), e-learning is described as the usage of new multimedia technologies and the
internet aiming at enhancing the learning quality through the facilities to access the services. Besides, Li-
An, Kuo, Lin (2010) highlighted that e-learning has altered from online course to using technology to the
course no matter the place and time. Likewise, Wittich et al., (2017) defined e-learning as the usage of
communication and information technology to have access to online learning and teaching resources. With
reference to Waight, Willging and Wentling (2004) e-learning is computer based educational system that
enables the learners to learn anytime and anywhere. When comparing to traditional learning, Eke (2010)
identified it as expensive since it take long time, however, referring to e-learning Waight, Willging and
Wentling (2004) also perceived it as cheaper, faster and better.

4.2 E-LEARNING TRENDS

The study of Eger and Egerová (2013) focused on the trends of e-learning whereby the authors underlined
that e-learning is constantly present in business and also in society. Blended learning is described as the
process of merging two or more teaching methods, for essence, pedagogical approaches, web-based
technologies and job tasks. The method of blended learning used different teaching medium to create
training courses. To that effect, the main aim of blended learning is to create a great impact through training
media.

According to Fischer et al., (2015), gamification is described as the process for increasing the facilities
involving from e-learning by introducing gaming aspects to engage the users greatly. The most challenging
part of the gamification method is mainly focused on the design part to achieve the goals of the learner in
less time. Game based learning is useful as it provides important practice opportunities and at the same time
it motivates and engages the learners.

Waight, Willging and Wentling (2004) reported that micro learning is described when the time for learning
is measurable and short, the content is simple and at the same time small and the process is iterative. In this
strand, the learning material in micro learning is provided in terms of chucks and the learners received

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Human Resources Development Assignment

information when they subscribe to the learning material. The other trends of e-learning involve
personalised learning and continuous learning.

4.3 BENEFITS OF E-LEARNING

E-learning has a number of benefits whereby, first and foremost Fischer et al., (2015) highlighted that the
delivery is faster. E-learning reduces the training time since there is no travel time to attend the lectures.
Similarly, the learners are more focused on the elements they have to learn. Besides, the learners can also
set their own pace to study and it also does not take much time to start and finish the learning session.

Another benefit of e-learning Eke (2010) emphasized on being more effective whereby there is a better
long-term retention of information and there is also an increase in the number of the learners who pass their
exams. In general, there is a better attitude towards the format of e-learning and training when compared to
traditional learning. Further, there is also an improvement on the tests from the learners who have carried
out their e-learning activities. Eventually, through e-learning there is also a greater ability to apply knew
knowledge.

4.4 COST

E-learning also leads to lower environmental impact whereby Li-An, Kuo, Lin (2010) underlined that e-
learning eliminates the use of paper and hence the trees are saved. Moreover, e-learning also reduces the
need for a campus and the costs required to maintain the facilities. Eventually there are also no travels cost
and accommodation costs related with e-learning.

4.5 CHALLENGES

Referring to the challenges that are involved in e-learning, Tarus, Gichoya and Muumbo (2015) stated that
there is a lack of motivation among the learners. The learners might be not keen about the content and might
also not be interested in the subject. It is therefore essential to overcome this challenge and it is also
imperative to design the e-learning course in a creative manner. It also important to highlight that even the
topics that are not interesting must have the potential to become attractive, enabling the learners to read and
understand the topic.

Another challenge for e-learning is pointed out by Al-Azawei, Parslow and Lundqvist (2016) whereby due
to busy schedules, people usually do not find time for learning. Various students are reluctant to use e-

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Human Resources Development Assignment

learning since they believe that they will not be able to look for time to access the learning materials. It is
therefore significant to ensure that the e-learning is in bite-sized chunks whereby they can be accessible
whenever the learner is and wherever the learner is ready to learn. The e-learning should also avoid lengthy
texts thereby enabling the learners to retain the important information easily.

Eventually Eke (2010) claimed that there is a general misconception that e-learning does not provide the
learners with support. In this strand, the learners prevent themselves from enrolling for e-learning even if
there are motivated to learn. Hence, in order to overcome this particular challenge, a support system should
be available for all the learners. To that effect, a FAQ( frequently answered questions) can be provided to
the learners aiming at helping them to solve any similar issues that they come across. Peer collaboration can
also be encouraged to provide feedback about e-learning.

According to Eke (2010), the implementation of e-learning is a main concern since the education system in
South Africa has limited access to technology and the teachers find it difficult to use technology to support
and engage learning. Building on this, great emphasis is required to be made for the teachers to understand
that technology is not replacing them; instead, e-learning will enhance their work. A major challenge is to
develop and to implement training and professional development for the teachers so as they can accept
teaching with technology and understand that the benefits of teaching with technology are a development
for the academic students.

4.6 LEARNING ORGANISATION

According to Kim and Callahan (2013), a learning organisation has five main requirements, namely, shared
vision, team learning, system thinking, organizational learning and personal mastery.

Following the first requirement, the shared vision must give a sense of purpose and it must be real. Shared
vision also promotes and focuses on the long-term commitment to the effectiveness of the organization.
Most importantly, the vision must be supported by everyone. The second requirement is based on team
learning which is the process of aligning and developing the capacity of a team to produce the results that
the members truly desire. The third requirement of a learning organisation is systems thinking whereby the
people are required to view the structural aspects of organisational performance instead of individual
performances. The fourth requirement is organisational learning which is viewed as team learning that adds
to the organisational learning. Eventually, the final requirement is personal mastery without which
organisations and individuals would be unable to constantly learn how to create.

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Human Resources Development Assignment

With reference to the case study based on South Africa, the e-learning platform is for training purposes.
According to Hee Kim and Callahan (2013), learning organisation facilitates learning and it constantly
transforms itself to ease learning. The objective of a learning organisation is to remain competitive in the
business environment.

The concept of learning organisation represents the evolution of organisational learning perspective due to
its potential and abilities to develop transformational change in organisations. Learning organisation also
mean a new way of relationships and thinking within companies. However, implementing learning
organisation is only receptive to adaptive change and learning (Armstrong and Foley, 2003).Learning
comprises more than only information transfer and it is therefore ineffective to present learning organisation
as the only training method. Learning and learning organisation cannot be imposed since internal desire to
learn and change is required (Armstrong and Foley, 2003).

Eke (2010) listed some essential ways in which e-learning support the organisational business objectives. To
that effect, producing the learning content take much time, hence with the use of e-learning every time when
the course is accessed, the return on investment is improved since the fixed productions costs are divided by
the number of uses. Thus, e-learning saves the travelling costs, produce more efficient and effective
performance and reduce the use of materials.

With reference to Al-Azawei, Parslow and Lundqvist (2016), effective training comprises practice in a
simulated job environment and arranging a real job environment only for the training purposes would have
been very expensive. Therefore, a fake environment has labor and materials cost. E-learning consequently
creates an online environment whereby the learner can only start practicing in an instance and there is
nothing to worry about the costs that are related to the set up.

Owing to the concerns about environment and sustainability, Al-Azawei, Parslow and Lundqvist (2016)
provided much emphasis on the ethical business practices and the norms and value of a workplace; the
organisations have to face various regulations and laws. By not abiding to the laws and regulations, it can
have a negative impact on the reputation on the image of the company. E-learning is proved to be greatly
successful for several companies on a number of variety compliance subjects, for example, safety. Likewise,
e-learning is one among the best options to train employees efficiently both in terms of cost of training and
learning. Besides, e-learning is also available in different languages.

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Human Resources Development Assignment

4.7 CONCLUSION

To conclude, this section is mostly focused on e-learning and learning organisations. In this strand, the
definitions of e-learning and learning organisations are provided and the e-learning trends are highlighted.
This section also lists the challenges of the implementation of e-learning in South Africa and the
requirements for learning organisations are also provided.

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Human Resources Development Assignment

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