The promotion of skills retention – a case study of the city of Cape Town's skills development strategy
Davids, Bradley Wayne
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The lack of skills and capacity has been cited as one of the key reasons for organisations failing to recruit staff, with 81% of companies in South Africa experiencing recruitment challenges. More specifically, the problem of low skills and capacity has had an impact on the ability of the state to meet its goals and objectives in a variety of public service areas. In fact, in 2006, a question time session in the National Assembly revealed the enormity of the problem. The President, while being questioned on the crisis arising from a lack of suitably qualified people in the Public Service, referred to a skills audit conducted in 2004. The audit, conducted across 284 municipalities, revealed the number one challenge in the context of service delivery as that of a lack of skills. In this context, the City of Cape Town has adopted an ambitious Human Resource Strategy. One of the Human Resource initiatives is the Skills Development Strategy .This broad strategy provides for the implementation of various interventions that facilitates the development, capacity and retention of local government officials in the City. This notwithstanding, it would seem that the City’s remedial action in terms of skills development and retention is not meeting the prescribed intentions of its HR strategy.The study was guided by the following assumptions:The skills development strategy of the City is aimed at appropriate training and development of local government officials that will facilitate career planning and retention of staff.The City’s broader HR strategies will create an enabling environment in achieving the strategic objectives of the various interventions aimed at skills development and retention.The skills development strategy will enhance employee motivation and loyalty towards the City and hence reduce employment turnover.Successful implementation of the City’s skills development strategy is dependent on effective and innovative human resources policies and interventions aimed at developing the talent pool of the City.The primary objective of the study was to critically examine the strategic aims of skills development strategy as adopted by the City of Cape Town in 2007.In this regard, secondary objectives include:critically examining the legislative and regulatory framework for skills training and development in South Africa, critically examining the policy and regulatory framework that informs the management and development of human resources in the City Of Cape Town,contextualising the need for more rigorous training and development interventions within the City of Cape Town,identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the various interventions put in place to facilitate the implementation of the skills development strategy of the City, and finally proposing recommendations to overcome the implementation challenges. The research relied on theoretical research methodology to collect data for the study. Primary and secondary sources of data were used. Secondary sources included books, journals, and government policies and documents. Primary sources included interviews and personal observations.
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