Reskilling a Priority to Prepare Workers for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Reskilling a Priority to Prepare Workers for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Written by Lameez Omarjee for Fin24

A significant amount of reskilling and upskilling is necessary to prepare the workforce for future jobs created by the fourth industrial revolution, according to a report.

The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Future of Jobs 2018 report released earlier this week, unpacks the potential of new technologies to disrupt and create jobs and what should be done to prepare the workforce for new roles. The findings are based on a survey of chief human resources officers and strategy executives from companies across 12 industries and 20 developed and emerging economies.

According to the research, more than half of all workplace tasks will be performed by machines and algorithms as opposed to 29% currently. However, the evolution of machines in the workplace could create 133 million new roles, compared to the 75 million jobs that will be displaced between 2018 and 2022.

 “While we expect net positive job growth, there will be a significant shift in the quality, location, format and permanency of new roles,” the report read.

Although disruption such as automation will have an impact on the nature of work – the quality, location, format and whether roles are permanent or not – it also presents opportunities and demand for new roles. These roles include data analysts and scientists, software and application developers, e-commerce and social media specialists.

There is also expected to be increasing demand for roles which require human skills – such as sales and marketing professions, innovation managers and customer service workers, according to the report. However, roles which could become redundant include “routine-based white-collar roles” such as accounting and pay-roll clerks.

As for the displacement of jobs, surveyed companies indicate job losses in mining and metals, consumer and information technologies industries is projected to be higher than companies in “professional services”, while job demand will be created in other industries.

Businesses are likely to increase the use of contracted workers doing task-specialised work, more flexible work arrangements to be introduced, increasing use of remote staff, and increasing access to talent by shifting the location from which the organisation operates.

In turn workers will require new sets of skills to keep up with changes. Saadia Zahidi, head of the centre for the new economy and society at WEF noted that companies need to invest in human capital to remain competitive in an age of machines”.

“There is both a moral and economic imperative to do so. Without proactive approaches, businesses and workers may lose out on the economic potential of the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” said Zahidi.

But the survey showed that over half of the companies plan to reskill only those in key roles, while only a third plan to reskill at-risk workers.

Even though all industries are expected to have skills gaps, the aviation and travel and tourism will have the highest reskilling needs between 2018 and 2022.

“Skills gaps are also a particular concern in the information and communication technology, financial services and investors, and mining and metals industries,” the report read. Global health and healthcare, chemistry, advanced materials and biotechnology sectors are most likely to retrain their workers. 

The demand for roles will also vary across regions – for example in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, Middle East and North Africa there will be demand for assembly and factory workers. While in East Asia and the pacific and Western Europe there will be demand for financial and investment advisors.

The WEF highlighted the role of government in addressing the impact of new technology on labour markets. This past week stakeholders in government, business and organised labour came together for the Presidential Job Summit in an effort to address the challenges to job creation.Business and government plan to create 275 000 jobs every year for the next five years. Among the solutions proposed includes a focus on training of technical skills in the automotive, construction and hospitality sectors.

Managing By Project with Davis & Dean

Managing By Project with Davis & Dean

Practical project management experience is difficult to gain in a classroom. Ideally, we would like our project management teams to have prior experience however, this is not always possible.

Davis & Dean, project management training experts, have developed Managing By Project (MBP), an extensive workshop where students are able to navigate through online project management scenarios, combining both the science and art of project management.

i-Fundi has partnered with Davis & Dean to give students a holistic training experience when completing their Project Management NQF 5 qualification. The three-day workshop is built into the 12 month programme where students take the concepts and principles taught and put them into practice.

MBP is a simulation of actual management processes programmed in artificial intelligence allowing participants a complete, realistic experience. Projects unfold differently based on each learner’s decisions upon randomised situations. Learners have a realistic experience applying the principles of project management.

The MBP workshop achieves the following outcomes:

  1. Core Skills Integration: –
    Integration of leading, managing and team work as learnable soft skills that each student develops.

    • Leadership: Building strong relationship with relevant stakeholders to later leverage off;
    • Management: Planning, organising and controlling project approach with a time-phased and task-oriented approach;
    • Teamwork: Introduction to science of teamwork and develop teamwork skills for a high-performance team.
  2. Project Fundamentals: –
    Fundamental project planning tools.

    • Project definition: defining the scope of work;
    • Task List: tasks to achieve project objectives;
    • Work breakdown structure: List of tasks are grouped or ordered;
    • PERT: Relationships between the tasks are defined and the critical path found;
    • Gantt: project timeline developed from PERT diagram, start to finish.
  3. Analytical Techniques: –
    Applying analytical techniques during the iterative process of planning, executing and monitoring and control to overcome project deficits and take advantage of opportunities.
  4. Stakeholder Plan:
    Identifying stakeholders and their interest and influence to develop a stakeholder plan which then is implemented through workplace simulation.
  5. Communication Plan:
    Developed alongside stakeholder plan, followed through project implementation.
  6. Human Resource Planning: –
    Ensure optimal usage of available resources through a levelling exercise.
  7. Financial Plan: –
    The human resource plan together with additional budgetary items are developed into a financial plan using a bottom up and top down process.
  8. Project Implementation: –
    Planning reports are generated, results analysed and control tools updated on a weekly basis.
  9. Project Reporting: –
    Effective project reporting from task managers to projects teams, thereon to management.
  10. Project Controls: –
    Additional control tools are introduced for maximum effect.
  11. Risk Management and Contingency Planning: –
    Integrating risk management and contingency planning exercise.
  12. Project Management and Leadership: –
    Level, timing and influence of management and leadership principles.
  13. Project Monitoring and Control: –
    Key Performance Indicators established are used in managing the monitoring and control processes.
  14. Project Closure: –
    Complete necessary administrative duties and prepare final project report.

Are you interested in a career as a Skills Development Facilitator?

chart reflecting skills development

A Skills Development Facilitator (SDF) is an individual nominated by the organisation to serve as a liaison between the Seta and the company. This individual will be added as the contact person on the Fasset database and he/she will be provided with access to the Fasset online system which will enable them to monitor grant submissions and levies.

The Role of the SDF

The SDF’s role will require him or her to:

  • Assist the employer and employees to develop a Workplace Skills Plan which complies with the requirements of the Seta
  • Submit the Workplace Skills Plan to the relevant Seta
  • Advise the employer on the implementation of the Workplace Skills Plan
  • Assist the employer to draft an Annual Training Report on the implementation of the Workplace Skills Plan
  • Advise the employer on the quality assurance requirements set by the Seta
  • Act as a contact person between the employer and the sector Seta
  • Serve as a resource with regard to all aspects of skills development
  • Communicate Seta initiatives, grants and benefits to the employer
  • Communicate with branch offices, and all employees in the main office and branch offices, concerning events and grants being offered at the Seta
  • The employer must provide the Skills Development Facilitator with the resources, facilities and training necessary to perform the functions set out.

The SDF will receive all invitations to Fasset events and benefits, information about Fasset, grant reminders, quarterly newsletters and monthly electronic newsletters. Failure to pass or act on Fasset information, or refer information to the correct person/s in your organisation, may result in financial loss to your organisation. For example, invitations to FREE Fasset training events are open to all staff, not only to the SDF. More than one staff member may attend from each organisation and it is your obligation to ensure that employees within the company/ies you represent have an opportunity to attend these interventions.

Certain SDFs external to the organisation they represent, or working in a private SDF company may represent a number of employers, and thus have an even greater obligation to ensure that these employers utilize these Fasset benefits.

SDFs that do not perform their duties must be accountable to their employers. Fasset will not give leeway to employers claiming compensation or lenience in terms of grant deadlines missed, or information not passed on to them by their SDF.

Lastly, SDFs who have not furnished Fasset with email addresses and fax numbers are missing out on information and invitations that are sent to employers via means other than ‘snail mail’. Kindly contact the Fasset call centre on 086 101 0001 orfassetcallcentre@fasset.org.za in order to update your details.

Secondary Skills Development Facilitator

The status of Secondary SDF has been introduced by Fasset to allow for more than one person to have access to the employer’s information on the Seta Management System (SMS). The Secondary SDF is someone appointed by the SDF of an organisation. An example is a finance manager, who works for an organisation, and requires view access to the grant and levy details. The role of the Secondary SDF is similar to that of the conventional (primary) SDF. Similar system privileges on the electronic Seta Management System (SMS) are allocated, except the Secondary SDF has view access to an organisation’s information.

How much can an SDF expect to earn?

According to PayScale, the median salary of an SDF, as collected from the National Salary Date is R154 429.00 per annum.

Community of Experts

i-Fundi will be hosting the next Community of Experts workshop which aims  to explore the challenges, internal strategies, management processes and technology solutions for companies to support SDF’s in streamlining skills development compliance. The Community of Experts Series addresses topics of common interest to practitioners of various professional communities. Facilitated by industry and subject matter experts, these events expose participants to new ideas as presented by a guest speaker and allow a forum for the participants to learn and share their experiences.

If you would like to participate in the upcoming CoE, rsvp with reggie@i-funi.com, or call us on 011 290 5900.

Programme Details

Date: Friday, 26 February

Time: 10h00 – 12h00

Venue: i-Fundi: 1st Floor, Regenesys Campus,

4 Pybus Road, Sandton

Cost: Free

Click here to read other related news.



Futurist advocates for ‘strategic foresight’ in corporate planning

Written By: Natalie Greve

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation chair in futures studies Professor Sohail Inayatullah has touted the adoption of “transformative and strategic foresight” by companies in future scenario planning, telling a workshop that this approach creates flexibility in decision-making by moving from a focus on one inevitable future to an analysis of several alternative ones.

This methodology was used by organisations such as the World Economic Forum, which used it to reframe challenges, analyse assumptions about existing organisational challenges and clarify future options for strategic decision-making.

The foresight approach, Inayatullah explained, encouraged a shift from focusing on the day-to-day operational considerations of management to the longer-term transformative dimensions of leadership, introducing broader systematic and trans-disciplinarian perspectives and solutions. “This approach allows [companies] to anticipate emerging issues and weak signals that may derail strategic plans and policies. Through environmental scanning, strategic foresight intends to solve tomorrow’s problems today and discover opportunities early on,” the futurist outlined.

Importantly, the foresight approach changed the temporal horizon of planning from the short term to the medium and long term, while reducing risk by emphasizing the positions of multiple stakeholders. “Often, strategies fail not because of an inaccurate assessment of alternative futures, but as a result of a lack of understanding of deep culture. “Blind spots – which are always built into the knowledge framework of each person and organisation – are addressed by including difference. This makes implementation far easier,” said Inayatullah.

Future-based studies and transformative insight in organisations were based on six pillars, the first of which involved the mapping of the past, present and future. Mapping sought to identify the historical factors and patterns that had created the present, which was itself mapped through environmental scans.

The second pillar saw the anticipation of the future through the identification of emerging issues, while the third pillar sought to “time the future” through an analysis of previous patterns in history. Inayatullah’s fourth pillar was based on “deepening” the future through an analysis of the deeper myths and world views present beneath the data of the “official” future using causal layered analysis.

A series of alternative possible futures were then created through scenario-planning and an analysis of the critical uncertainties driving the future as well as the archetypes of personal and societal change.

Lastly, through the application of backcasting, visioning and action learning, the future was then “transformed” through the articulation of a preferred future and the development of critical pathways.

Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

Article sourced: engineeringnews


What hamstrings BEE deals in financial services sector?

Article by:  Phakamisa Ndzamela

This article first appeared in Business Day and is sourced from the Rand Daily Mail.

It is common cause that black ownership in the financial services sector has regressed. Just look at the big four banks and see what is happening there. What that says to me is that the ownership targets that have been set are flawed because they can never be sustainable in a free market, or capitalist, world. In a capitalist world, ownership evolves and does not remain static.

At the same time, a number of black people are wealthier than before, thanks to deals that have matured. The only BEE shareholders that are squirming are those at African Bank Investments Limited.

However, it seems that BEE deals in the financial services sector are going to be hard to come by. Those that have been tempted to do transactions are being hamstrung by uncertainty around the “once empowered, always empowered” concept.

This issue will again test the leadership in the financial services sector. A failure to come up with solid and useful outcomes could put the entire industry at risk.

Brinkmanship is not going to assist anyone as it could toughen up attitudes. Kicking the can down the road is also not an option as it might deepen frustration in the future.

One of the underlying views of some leading figures in the sector is that any person who does a BEE deal in this uncertain environment would need to have their head examined.

Essentially, there are two schools of thought. There are those who are genuinely worried about the uncertainty about the “once empowered, always empowered” concept and want to do the deals. But they say their hands are tied.

And there are those who are insisting that doing another round of BEE deals would fundamentally amount to insanity. “We are in a very bad cycle because of this ‘once empowered, always empowered’ issue,” says one captain of industry.

“It makes it very difficult for corporate SA. The ‘once empowered, always empowered’ issue can be abused. But the reality then is that you must do deals with indefinite lock-in. But if you do indefinite lock-in, then it means the share has no value. The problem is there is no clarity and the companies don’t want to do deals,” the person said.

The “once empowered, always empowered” discussion is now at the level of the financial sector council. Serious discussions are being held on the alignment of the sector code to the Department of Trade and Industry’s codes of good practice. On that platform, one is told, there is also a discussion on how the financial sector is looking at the possibilities of setting aside some capital resources to fund the new black industrialist agenda driven by the government and the Black Business Council.

One of the issues relates to ownership. The ambition is for black ownership to sit at about 25%. Out of that 25%, it is said that direct black ownership should amount to 10%, while 15% should be indirect.

As things stand, there is no big-four bank in SA that is close to the target. The closest to the 10% direct control target is FirstRand, with about a 5% black holding through BEE trusts. Standard Bank’s direct black ownership is at about 2% and Nedbank’s is at about 1.4%. Barclays Africa Group has nothing — the consortium of black shareholders sold everything there.

So what is to be done?

My view is that those who simply hired key individuals with the intention of enriching a few must be asked nicely to now spread the wealth to the masses. The reason for this call is that enriching a few was selfish and was done in bad faith.

Those whose BEE structures were bona fide and went on to touch the ordinary masses in the most meaningful way must be given another empowerment task, and perhaps not at ownership level. By bona fide, I mean those who did not just hire politicians. They know who they are.

Call me a sellout, but the ownership thing of 25% is not practical because it can never be sustainable.

My view is that empowerment is a continuous process and bickering about ownership is not going to help. The debate should not be narrowed to ownership structures.

The discussion should be about other forms of empowerment. A new empowerment task must be found for the financial services sector and the ownership issue should be revisited.

This article first appeared in Business Day