South African entrepreneurs have the opportunity to close the skills gap
September 16, 2020
One of the greatest challenges in South Africa is recruiting the unskilled labour force that makes up the majority of unemployed people in the county. We’ve seen exponential growth in the number of new businesses, in spite of the challenges in accessing markets and funding, skills pose a limitation on the growth of these small businesses.

On one end of the spectrum, the specialized skills used by large corporations to establish empires are too expensive for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). On the other end, is the battle to operate optimally with an unskilled team.

In all likelihood, a person seeking employment also does not have the means to improve their skills, therefore limiting their options. For the prospective employer, who is also cash-strapped and in need of specific skills to increase capacity, recruitment becomes a daunting task.

Labour laws and funding aside, entrepreneurs have the opportunity to close the skills gap.

If you consider your process manuals are like a recipe book for your business, then we can assume the person using the recipe book has the potential to be a great cook – if they follow the recipes that is. At a later stage, this great cook may start to “improve” the recipes to keep up with the trends, make it Banting-friendly perhaps. They may even become a specialist of a particular recipe.

Much like using the recipe book to create the next great cook, entrepreneurs can use process manuals to create specialists – recruit an inexperienced, unskilled labour force, use the process manuals as training guides, and over time you will have specialists.

There’s the triple benefit of reducing poverty (for the individual and those affected) while narrowing the skills gap and increasing capacity for your business. The other benefit of documenting your business processes is that it exposes opportunities to improve the business which will influence the operations plan, funding, recruitment and training strategy.

Small and medium enterprises not only have the opportunity to create jobs for the unskilled labour force, it is an opportunity to teach skills.

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