May 2014
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TD Magazine

State of the South African Training Industry

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Plagued by a chronic skills shortage, South Africa increases its T&D investment.

The African Society for Training & Development recently collaborated with the South African Board for People Practices to author the State of the South African Training Industry Report. South Africa has a comprehensive legislative framework for developing skills in the workplace, as part of which organizations are required to pay a 1 percent "skills levy" to their Sector Education and Training Authority, and undertake training to reclaim the major part of that levy. The report's key findings follow.

South African organizations spend, on average, 4 percent of payroll on training. This is significantly above the 1 percent required by the Skills Development Levies Act.

Training needs analyses are conducted using performance management data (68 percent), data from customer complaints (57 percent), and interviews (40 percent).

The outsourcing of training design and delivery continues to increase. At present, 64 percent of training is designed externally, and 62 percent of training is delivered externally.

Classroom training continues to be the most popular training delivery method (for 59 percent of respondents), followed by e-learning (for 20 percent of respondents).


Forty-five percent of the organizations surveyed evaluate the return-on-investment on at least some of their training programs. This is up from 40 percent last year.

Sixty percent of the organizations surveyed have adopted a formal talent management strategy. This is up from 53 percent last year and 49 percent the year before.

Forty-five percent use coaching to support their talent management strategies. The same percentage use mentoring, and 90 percent of those organizations use both coaching and mentoring. Coaching is most often delivered by line managers.

Although the report acknowledges ongoing concerns about the country's education system, recent government policy changes are expected to have a positive impact on the skills shortage.

About the Author

Robin Probart is president of the African Society for Training & Development.

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