Better Skilled Staff
The benefits of such programmes are many:
- Attract highly motivated people: New work seekers appreciate the employment opportunity that they are being given. They are highly motivated individuals who are prepared to work for less and willing to make a real investment in their future knowing that they will receive a national certificate at the end.
- Well trained people make all the difference: Many of the challenges – such as not meeting targets, customer complaints, quality issues, and cost overruns are caused by unskilled people. On the contrary, well trained people are easier to manage and deliver better results. It makes sense therefore to invest in the training of people, particularly in light of the generous financial incentives provided by government and i-Fundi’s proven track record in being able to produce measurable improvements in performance.
- Lower attrition: Learners appreciate their first job and the growth opportunities within the contact centre industry. They are therefore willing to make the necessary sacrifices particularly if they know that a company invests in their continuous development. Experience has shown that being part of an on-going learning programme retains staff for a longer period. One day of on-going training is equal to one month of prolonged retention.
- Better engagement: Knowing that a company invests in their employee’s growth improves motivation which means better customer engagement. In other words, the more an employee is engaged, the more likely they are to close sales or offer quality service, which leads to repeat business and customer loyalty.
- Professionalising the industry: In the long term, the only way to address the current skills shortage is for companies to make a contribution to growing the skills pool of the industry. Training within the current National Qualifications Framework (NQF) provides clear standards that help to improve the quality of learning. The framework also outlines a ladder for professional growth and career progression which helps to dispel the notion that contact centre work is a stepping stone for other occupations. As more and more graduates can prove their professional achievements through a nationally recognised certificate, recruiters will then find it easier to find the qualified candidates.
In its effort to promote skills development and job creation, the government offers very attractive incentives to employers who invest in their staff. These incentives can easily pay for the costs of training and at times even include the learner’s salary. Amongst the incentives are:
- Reduced salary costs: Learners are willing to work for less. Typically a learner starts out on a monthly salary of R1500 compared to an ordinary entry-level salary for a front-line customer service employee of R4500. This means that a company can save up to R 36 000 per year on salaries per learner.
- Tax break for the training of new and existing employees: A company can claim an amount equal to the annual salary of a new learner at the beginning of the programme (up to a maximum of R 30 000) and the same again at the end of the programme. At a corporate tax rate of 28% that equals a maximum saving of R16 800. The training needs to lead to a national qualification.
- Discretionary Grant: Various SETAs make discretionary grants available to their members to promote the skills development projects. These grants often cover the costs of training and at times even the learnership grant.
- Mandatory Grant: Employers can also reclaim up to 60 % of the skills levy that they have paid, subject to the employer meeting the necessary requirements set their respective SETA.
- The Department of Trade and Industry offers a Training and Skills Support Grant for BPO investments that create 200 and more jobs. The grant is for company specific product, systems and language training for up to R 12 000 per agent.
By taking advantage of these incentives an employer does not only substantially reduce its staffing and training costs but also enjoys the benefit of having well-trained, quality employees.
Studies have shown that a basic training intervention can improve productivity by at least 16%.Our i-FundiWorx methodology ensures that whatever is taught in the classroom is applied in the workplace, which leads to clearly measurable performance improvement and a guaranteed return on investment. The training we offer has been proven to change contact centre performance for the long term – change that positively impacts the bottom line through increased client satisfaction, retention and loyalty, decreased operating costs, and increased sales.
For example, a large national telecommunications company saved R 15.2 million as the talk time was reduced by 23.1 seconds per call. First call resolution improved by 8%, which means a saving of R2.5 million. Schedule adherence improved by 7%.
FundiWorx focuses on three main components:
- Getting the right things done correctly so that work is carried out as effectively as possible and a standardised implementation of agreed best practices is ensured.
- A highly effective monitoring system tracks student progress and alerts management to any implementation problems and triggers corrective action.
- i-Fundi’s proprietary evaluation tool tracks each project’s impact and return on investment, thus ensuring that training leads to clearly measurable performance improvements.
Training managers not only lack funding but time, time to do anything other than what is most urgent. According to the i-Fundi sponsored Human Capital Focus Report (Link: Extract from Report) most in-house training focuses on company-specific training such as induction, products and systems. Most of that training is intended to make staff productive as quickly as possible. Since it is mainly geared to address the companies unique needs, only 31% of contact centre training is SETA accredited.
Accredited training is however a prerequisite for accessing the many government incentives. i-Fundi, as a leader in the field, has developed a deep understanding of the SETA processes, and can give your organisation the benefits of accredited training without getting trapped in compliance issues. We help our clients with applications for funding right through to the final certification of the learners, so that you can concentrate on the running of your business.
Working in partnership with i-Fundi gives you the advantage to:
- Focus on your core business
- Take advantage of the available financial incentives, while we manage the administrative burden for you
- Conduct training that you would otherwise be unable to offer to staff due to financial and time constraints
- Present your staff with training that goes beyond operational concerns. This helps your staff to better understand your business, improve performance and create a solid foundation for their continued professional development. We understand that the participants need academic fundamentals, technical and life skills. Our training strongly focuses on developing the self-confidence and attitude needed for success.
- Gain access to the industry’s best practices. Leverage our experience so you can avoid unnecessary mistakes. Minimise the start-up time for projects required with our cost effective cutting edge learning material and practices, which allow you to benefit from our economies of scale.
- We are flexible enough to customise our approach to your unique needs. We have strong project management expertise, which will reduce your risks and ensures that we will be able to meet your expectations.
- Take advantage of the i-FundiWorx methodology so that your own projects meet the 100-90-80-70 Standard
Empowerment in South Africa is critical. In order for the country to realise its full potential, all citizens need to be able to participate in the economy, making a contribution through their skills and purchasing power. To achieve this, the South African Government passed the Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment Act. The Act encourages companies to provide opportunities for previously disadvantaged individuals. An integral part of the Act is a generic scorecard, which measures companies’ empowerment progress in four areas
- Direct empowerment through ownership and control of enterprises and assets.
- Management at senior level.
- Skills development and employment equity.
- Indirect empowerment through:
- Preferential procurement,
- Enterprise development, and
- Corporate social investment.
A company can claim 15 points of a total 100 points in the scorecard through skills development. Points can be earned in three ways:
- 6 points can be earned by enrolling 5% of the workforce on learnerships or accredited training that leads to a recognised qualification for black learners;
- A further 6 points can be gained if 3% of your annual payroll is spent on the training of previously disadvantaged individuals; and
- Another 3 points are added if a tenth of the above expenditures benefits black disabled people.Since learner allowances are also allowed to be included as training expenditures, it is easily possible to earn the full 15 points provided disabled learners are participating on the programme.Doing business with i-Fundi, will reflect well on your BEE score card. Being rated as an AAA+ or Level 1 contributor, you count R1.35 as preferential buying for every Rand spent with i-Fundi.Scoring high on the score card is important because it may swing a decision in your favour when your clients make their purchasing decisions. But you also demonstrate your commitment to the transformation and development of South Africa. Everyone wins through learnerships and training. Learners find decent work and acquire new skills, companies have better staff, customers enjoy good service and South Africa benefits as a whole.