Choosing a B-BBEE Skills Development Partner

South Africa is witnessing a contracting economy due to a decrease in local consumption and if this trend gains momentum, it will trap our economy in an even more severe downward spiral.

The key to reversing this, according to Rajan Naidoo, Managing Director of EduPower Skills Academy, is to grow the domestic market and get more people economically active.

He adds that South Africa needs mechanisms to empower the economically disenfranchised. “Business is the main arena for this and B-BBEE is the instrument of choice.

B-BBEE is a powerful empowerment mechanism that seeks to create an inclusive, vibrant economy.

Government and business together can make this a reality. Business however cannot adopt a ‘wait and see’ attitude, rather it must become the main driver of change – and skills, supplier and enterprise development are the levers that will make this happen.”

Rajan cautions that it’s important that the intent of the legislation is upheld through the selection of appropriate B-BBEE implementation partners, especially for skills. Here are Rajan’s top five attributes that companies should use when selecting a training provider for Skills Development:

1. A well-defined structure for Learnership training

The key outcome of skills development is employability and the training provider is instrumental in facilitating this by providing quality, relevant work experience, work readiness, great facilitation, mentorship and life skills throughout the learnership. If these are correctly administered, learnerships result in highly employable graduates. One way to judge this is to ask the training provider if they actively help their graduates secure employment as this measures their confidence that their process is producing an employable candidate.

2. Learner recruitment and real-world training

Skills development through learnerships is about inclusivity and demarginalising vulnerable groups including women and People with Disabilities. To facilitate this shift, learnerships comprise 30% theoretical training and 70% hands-on work experience. This empowers the learner with relevant, real-world skills that result in a confident, competent learner. A learnership graduate who has experienced quality skills development is hard to exclude from the economy.

3. Workplace hosting and administration services

Work experience for an unemployed learner can either be undertaken by the B-BBEE sponsor or outsourced to a training provider, that places the learner with another employer or hosts the work experience themselves. Either way, the onus is on the B-BBEE sponsor to ensure their learner is gaining full value from their work experience.

They should therefore be part of a careful selection process to ensure the outsourced partner is quality and employability driven. This partner should also handle all administration, including liaising with skills authorities, recruitment documents, B-BBEE compliance documents and managing labour relations.

4. Maximising skills points through innovation

Training providers must be innovate in providing a powerful offering that goes above-and-beyond to create an employable learner. A well-rounded holistic work experience must include work readiness, mentorship and life skills. Outside the scope of a learnership, these are an essential value-adds that provide a rich and diverse experience and improve the learner’s employability.

5. Solutions for absorption

While learnerships provide practical knowledge and work experience, it is the training provider’s support through enterprise and supplier development that can unlock additional opportunities. EduPower and some other training providers actively combine skills development with enterprise, supplier and socio-economic development, building skills and creating jobs either through entrepreneurial business incubators or employment which in turn create further jobs through a multiplier effect.

Rajan believes that B-BBEE has many enabling empowerment mechanisms and, packaged together in an integrated solution, these can be powerful tools for creating economically active individuals. “Business should therefore embrace the true intent of B-BBEE which can be augmented when corporate sponsors use quality training partners that provide a comprehensive solution – one that delivers theory, practical work experience, workplace readiness, mentorship and life skills as well as absorption into long term employment and entrepreneurship.”

All articles written by a STAFF WRITER have been checked and verified to the best of our abilities. Should you have any queries or concerns, please don't hesitate to email them to

Leave a Reply