Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) is a programme introduced by the South African government to redress inequalities that result from the apartheid government’s rule. The selective programme awards certain advantages to previously disadvantaged groups based on race, gender and disabilities. Any company can contribute to this goal by working with a skills development company.
B-BBEE is woven into corporate South Africa and adhering companies qualify for a score based on various aspects set out by the programme. Companies with good B-BBEE scores are regarded as contributing, responsible and ethical enterprises. Score categories include ownership, management and control, employment equity, socioeconomic development and most importantly skills development. Various skills development companies exist in the pursuit of bettering the South African socioeconomic conditions.
South Africa is not regarded as an illiterate country where94.3 per cent of adult population is able to read and write. However, some previously disadvantaged groups do lack the necessary skills to find employment in a very competitive market. In fact South Africa’s unemployment rate is at a staggering 27.7 per cent – the highest it’s been since 2004.
Various industries require skilled workers to complete intricate jobs but business are often not willing to train members of South Africa’s youth due to the perception of a loss of productivity or the assumed unnecessary expense. Yet skills development is an easy way for companies to increase their B-BBEE scores and simultaneously empower those without jobs in the country. Implementation is a simple process and can be spearheaded by a skills development programme provider.
Effective skills development across all South African industries has the potential to significantly reduce the unemployment rate. Access to tertiary education has proven to be limited due to expensive accommodation and high tuition fees. Skills development is the second best thing as theoretical insights are coupled with valuable experience and a foot-in-the-door advantage.
Artisanal skills particularly are in short supply in South African industry as a result of an under qualified workforce. The solution to South African economic reform truly lies in the willingness of corporate institutions to adhere to B-BBEE. The programme shows immense potential in theory and all that is needed to truly empower all South Africans is good practice participation of the whole of corporate South Africa.