The future of employment in Sub-Saharan Africa is reliant on skills development. With the world quickly developing in line with the Fourth Industrial Revolution, people will need skills that ensure they are employable, or to ensure they can create employment for others.
It is not only the responsibility of governments and civil society to ensure that people are equipped with the necessary skills for future employment, but the private sector needs to make a contribution too.
An executive brief by the World Economic Forum titled the Future of jobs and skills in Africa reports that SSA currently only captures 55% of its human capital potential, compared to a global average of 65%.
To develop South Africa’s human capital potential, a Skills Development Summit was hosted during March 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa with the aim of harnessing the country’s knowledge economy. Investopedia defines the knowledge economy as a system of consumption and production that is based on intellectual capital which typically represents a large component of all economic activity. In a knowledge economy, a significant part of a company’s value may consist of intangible assets such as the value of its workers’ knowledge, or intellectual capital.
It is vitally important for SSA to support its knowledge economy to ensure the region is able to compete on a global economic scale.
The summit focused on the importance of sustainable and relevant skills training, and development as key factors in the growth of the economy.
GE South Africa participated in the summit this year, which was themed, Sustainable Future, Perfect Skills and focused on capacity building for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. GE has been in South Africa since 1898 and has invested in numerous skills development initiatives. It is therefore fitting that the company won the Best Training Programme (Large Company) Award at the Achiever Awards hosted at the skills summit.
GE was also nominated for Best Graduate Trainee Programme – Power. This trainee programme was an initiative between GE and the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa which involved 155 trainees in various fields of engineering.
“We are very proud to have been nominated in three categories and to have won an award as this is proof that GE is committed to developing its employees. As a global company, we ensure that we equip employees with the skills that will ensure success in their careers. GE also ensures it invests in the communities in which it operates through localisation and by developing local suppliers’ capabilities. Well done to the human resources team and the South African business leaders for leading these initiatives,” said Thomas Konditi, President and CEO, Transportation, Africa and GE South Africa.
Image above: The award-winning GE South Africa team, from left: Malebo Masimula, Skills Development Coordinator; Makato Mokoena, Skills Development Manager; Roti Balogun, Executive Head of Talent and Organisational Development; Matsi Eseu, Senior HR Business Partner GE Steam Power; and Nthabiseng Jonas, Lead Communications Specialist. Credit: GE