Evaluation of the learnership academy model
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Services have been the fastest growing component of world trade over the past 15 years and currently account for over 25% of cross-border trade. The recent growth in the global trade in services indicated that it outstripped growth in the trade in goods. In South Africa in 2001 the services sector accounted for almost two-thirds of formal employment and close to three-quarters of informal employment. On the one hand, part of this sector is known for its low-wage, low-skilled workers in the household and cleaning sub-sectors who will require training to enhance their skills and productivity. On the other hand, the services sector, especially the producer services sub-sector which includes six of the chambers of the Services SETA (i.e. General Business Services, Project Management, Labour Recruitment, Marketing Services, Property Services, Hiring Services and Postal Services), is growing faster than other sectors, which suggests that it will also be more labour absorbing in the future. New entrants will require appropriate training and accreditation. The services sector is, therefore, the environment where skills development can really make a difference. The Services SETA plays a very important role as the agent overseeing skills development and training in this important sector of the economy. Global and national trends in the services sector will have a profound influence on the training needs of Services SETA?s members over the next five to ten years. In particular, the following issues are likely to loom large:
Restructuring at the enterprise level will be required to enhance productivity and competitiveness as barriers to trade are dismantled, which will lead to increasing exposure to international competition. . This will require programmes to enhance the skills of employees in this sector to bring them in line with international norms.
If low-wage, low-productivity sectors such as household and cleaning services are to provide any prospect of advancement for employees, training will be required to enhance the skills and productivity of employees in these sectors.
The fact that the services sector is growing faster than other sectors suggests that it will also be more labour absorbing in the future. New entrants into this sector will require appropriate training and accreditation. In the same vein, improvements in the earning potential of those employed in the informal segment of the services sector is dependent on the attainment of skills and accreditation as a prerequisite for higher productivity