Insufficient training is frustrating managers' efforts to promote previously disadvantaged groups.
By: Sanchia Temkin
Reprint of an article in the Sunday Times of 04/11/2001
SA EMPLOYERS are finding it increasingly difficult to implement succession planning because of a shortage of skills, according to a
Labour Department report on employment equity analysed by
The shortage of skills is made worse by insufficient training of
employees and development opportunities is frustrating managers' efforts to promote previously disadvantaged groups. This means that years of entrenched racial and gender prejudice is still subtly evident in the culture of many workplaces in SA
The report states that whites still dominate most management and professional positions in the SA workplace, while Indian, Coloured and Black people are underrepresented. White people hold 62% of all management and professional positions.
A total of 12980 employers submitted their employment equity reports to the department. However, the department's report states that 4 730 reports could not be analysed for a number of reasons, including incomplete reports which had been submitted, employment equity
plans which had been submitted instead of the prescribed employment equity report form and employers devising their own occupational categories and levels instead of using the categories and levels stipulated by the department.
The report states that women represent 37% of South Africa’s total workforce, but only 12,5% hold top positions and 20% of senior management positions. The report goes on to state that once affirmative action measures are enforced, the department will have a better measure of whether the employment demographic results obtained from the second submission of employment equity reports reflect a general improvement in the representation of designated groups in management and professional positions.
The most common employment barriers identified were training and development, and the recruitment and selection processes. The report states that previously disadvantaged groups are not given sufficient preference, possibly due to a skills shortage and lack of experience.
The report also states that succession planning is difficult to
Implement and is also exacerbated by insufficient training and development opportunities.
NMG-Levy research consultant Jackie Kelly says succession planning is difficult to implement in SA because of a history of skills,
shortages. However, she says, "Developments are kicking in to increase skill levels across the sectors in a more planned and meaningful fashion". The department is aware of the problem and is doing something to resolve it.
The report further states that performance and evaluation
systems also affect succession planning in that people from designated groups cannot develop or progress unless their performance is monitored and structured feedback is received. About 65% of promotions across all management levels went to white managers. In the top and senior management levels, an average of 91% of all promotions went to white managers of which 17% were white women.
The report stresses that employers need to ensure that pay is commensurate with responsibility and job function. These criteria are standard and should be objectively applied to all staff regardless of race, gender and age.
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