Hardly had President Zuma set the job creation target at half a million new jobs per year or the prophets of doom started telling us that the target was unachievable. This despite the proposed jobs fund of 9 billion rand over the next three years to finance new job-creation initiatives, the Industrial Development Corporation setting aside R10 billion over the next five years for investment in economic activities with a high jobs potential and the R20 billion in tax allowances or tax breaks to promote investments, expansions and upgrades in the manufacturing sector.
I believe that we are failing to create jobs in this country, not because of legislative constraints, as many claim, but because of a lack of goodwill from employers and a massive degree of ignorance amongst those responsible for job creation in companies. Surely a country with 3 300 public companies, 229 000 private companies and more than halve a million close corporations should have no problem creating 500 000 new jobs per year.
Training a learner on a learnership should cost a company virtually nothing as current legislation already provides for SETA Grants and SARS allowances that will likely be more than the training fees and the salary of the learner combined. Yet very few companies are making an effort to understand this legislation and cost is still put forward as a reason why companies fail to employ and train new people.
The other excuse for not training learners on learnerships I often hear is that “appointing a manager to oversee the program, assigning a mentor to a learner and expecting the full time employees to be involved in the training of a youngster that might take over their jobs is too labour intensive and too expensive.” In my opinion such excuses are indicators of a lack of goodwill as both overseeing a learnership program and being a mentor to a learner are job enrichment activities that will benefit the manager or mentor as much, if not more, as it does the learner. I further believe that any employee who sees the training of a learner as a threat is not committed to the growth of his/her company and deserve to be replaced by someone with more energy and more commitment.
Companies who are committed to workplace integrated training are more likely to grow and more likely to respond to future Enterprise Development opportunities; Activities that create new jobs and secure current ones.
I for one Mr. President am with you on this one!
Jacques de Villiers: CATS (COO)