Topic: BusinessE-Commerce

Last updated: April 9, 2019

1. IntroductionHuman resource development forms an integral part of business improvement in companies all over the world. This assignment will discuss the challenges experienced in the local ICT industry, and global trends in human resource development.

It will further explore the purpose of the Skills Development Act 97 of 1998 and on its implementation. In addition, training or development processes. Finally, the compatibility of the concepts of e-learning and learning organisations. The rest of the assignment will provides details of the HRD wide-ranging, complex and challenging role, with specific reference to the South African situation from a strategic learning perspective.2. Overview of Human Resource DevelopmentMeyer (2016: 1-2) stipulated that, People play a crucial role in a company’s ability to produce products and services and, moreover, in a country’s ability to improve productivity and economic growth. The role of human resource development is therefore essential, especially in a country like South Africa in which its human resources are underdeveloped and the potential of its people is not fully realized. Subsequent World Competitiveness Reports (2016) have identified the lack of people development as one of the major stumbling blocks in regard to South Africa economy’s ability to compete in the global market.

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No country can sustain economic development and international competitiveness if its human resources are not developed to contribute significantly to the economy. The field of human resource development (HRD) globally has evolved so rapidly over the past ten years that traditional training is under threat. Traditionally, training has been seen as a tool to give employees knowledge and skills to perform their work more effectively. With reference to the article, the traditional training model will not be able to satisfy the need of this new market. However, an increasing number of companies view HRD as an important business imperative to enhance competitiveness and overall business performance (Meyer, 2016: 02). HRD is a series of activities that support behavioral change and learning opportunities for employees (Richman, 2015). HRD can defined as all the processes, systems, methods, procedures and programmes an organization employs to develop its human resource in order to equip its employees to be able to contribute to organizational performance.

HRD encompasses both training and non-training interventions. People must be continuously develop, whether this process occurs as part of a training intervention or as a component of people development that occurs on a daily basis. The role of HRD has broadened beyond training programme design. Effective instructional design remains important, but HRD practitioners are increasingly asked to create innovative systems and mechanisms to ensure performance improvement in the workplace. Moreover, the speed of technological and other changes, both in the workplace and the broader business social environment, requires more dynamic and flexible approaches of learning. The HRD practitioners is no longer only a trainer, but becomes a consultant to the rest of the organization in providing the support that enables the achievement of business objectives.

From a south African perspective, HRD is increasingly influenced by the new skills development system based on skills development within occupations, which is to be driven by the quality councils and in particular the quality council for trades and occupations (QCTO). In this new paradigm, the emphasis is on what the learner must be able to apply in the workplace as a result of learning. HRD practitioners should align their HRD programs and systems to support the implementation of a QCTO system. HRD is also a key element of the National Skills Development Strategy and other supporting government initiatives aimed at alleviating poverty and inequality, and improving our competitiveness as a nation.3. International trends in HRDSimultaneously with these trends in international relations and the world politico-economic order, a revolution has been taking place in the field of technology, especially in the field of information and communication technology. The move from the industrial age into the information age is resulting in an almost boundary-less world with individuals, businesses, Governments, etc.

becoming more and more interconnected through computers and online systems such as the internet. Information flow and distance have become crucial variables in transactions between countries and organisations. Revolution technological developments have thus created the foundation for more free trade and for faster moving economic transactions and system across the globe (Westhuizen ; Wessels, 2013; 26) according to Meyer (2016: 2) A global revolution is taking place in the field of workplace learning.

It is driven by the requirements of the information explosion, increased globalization, the changing nature of work and business, as well as changing learner needs and aspirations. The following are the challenges experienced in the global trends in the field of HRD 3.1.1 GlobalisationMany companies are entering international markets by exporting their products overseas, building manufacturing facilities or service centers in other countries, entering into alliances with foreign companies and engaging in e-commerce. One estimate is that developing economies and emerging markets such as those found in the BRIC nation (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) will be responsible for 68% of the growth of the world’s economy.

The importance of globalization is seen in recent hiring patterns of large U.S. multination corporations that have increased their overseas workforce, particularly in Asia. Markets in Brazil, China, and India have resulted in 60% of general electric’s business outside the United States with 54% of employees’ overseas (Noe, 2015:47). Global companies are struggling both to find and retain talented employees, especially in emerging markets.

Companies are moving into China, India, Eastern Europe, The Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Latin America, but the demand for talented employees exceeds supply. Also companies often place successful U.S. managers in charge of overseas operations, but these managers lack the cultural understanding necessary to attract, motivate, and retain talented employees (Noe, 2015:47).

Nel & Werner’s (2014:372) view on globalization is that it has never been the simple all-embracing phenomenon promulgated by the free-market ideologists. Although, the basic ingredients of globalization are increased trade and the use of IT. Managers in organisations are now faced with the challenges and opportunities of managing any kind of organization in a global environment. Globalization promotes mutual reliance between countries and implies that the world if free from national boundaries and that ours is really a ‘borderless’ world. Increased global competition leads to radical renewal in most cases.

One consequence of globalization is that HRM must be equipped with the right people with the right knowledge and skills to manage diverse workforces’ internationally.3.1.2 Strategic HRD and talent managementThe importance of managing HRD from a strategic point of view has evolved very rapidly over the past five years. However, it is now more difficult than ever to strategically plan HRD over the long term. The changes in the business environment are so rapid and unpredictable that strategic HRD must be aligned on a more regular basis, with the typical time span of a strategic plan being reduced from 10 years to three years. This means that strategic HRD plans must be flexible enough to accommodate changes in the environment (Meyer, 2016: 3)3.1.

3 Electronic, mobile and social learningAn increasing number of organisations worldwide are making use of electronic learning (e-learning) to facilitate the learning process. There has been an exponential growth in the power, speed and capacity of computer and other devices. Technological applications have become a necessity in society and the modern business environment. All jobs and functions are affected by information technology. The challenge is whether HRD practioners are equipped to deal with the technology revolution.

Not only do HRD practioners have to prepare Managers and employees to become skilled in the use of technology in their day-to-day work, they have to acquire skills themselves to effectively use technology when they facilitate effective learning in the workplace. Responding to the technology challenge, some companies have started to make use of technology-based training or electronic learning (e-learning). However, m-learning and s-learning are powerful new developments to be optimized as of an overall e-learning strategy (Meyer, 2016: 309-310).3.1.4 Management and leadership developmentMost employees are promoted into management as a reward for excelling in the technical skills of a particular job of modern-day technologies. Traditionally, managers expected to plan, direct, staff and control. Currently, however, in a fast-changing business environment, the newly appointed manager is therefore armed with superior technical knowledge and skills, but is often lacking and even unaware of the complex knowledge and skills of managing work and employees.

To the recently promoted, this is a new world with utterly different functions, skills, demands and criteria for success. Traditionally in South Africa there are three distinct management level: supervisors or first line managers; middle managers; and senior managers. In practice however, there may be two or more grades at each management level. The levels are not always so clear cut. The current approach to cut as many layers as possible3.

1.5 Performance consultingPerformance consultant take a comprehensive system view of performance, examining the alignment of the total performance system in every venue at workplace (Meyer, 2016: 117). The performance improvement process is dependent on the performance improvement consultant being competent as per the competencies. Industry awareness understanding the vision, strategy, goals, and culture of an industry; linking human performance improvement intervention to organizational goals. The performance improvement consultant needs to understand the interplay between the strategic imperative, the HRD contribution and the business goals.

The interaction will effectively determine the success of the performance improvement outcome. The competent performance improvement consultant will understand the impact of their actions in the performance improvement process. many organisations decide to change their HRD practitioners will create value for the organization when they understand and deliver on holistic performance, help the organization identify risks and plan to meet business-needs timeously.Developing people at the centre of efforts to improve performance remains on ongoing challenge, in particular getting people to perform better in a fast-changing environment (Meyer, 2016: 147).

3.1.6 Career and performance managementGlobal realities include burgeoning digital technology; a growing contingent workforce; demographic upheavals, such as ageing work forces, uncontrollable migration patterns and multi-generational workplaces; outsourcing of non-core activities; mega-mergers and acquisitions; change from production-oriented to service-oriented business; globalization involving commerce that makes national borders almost meaningless; and huge staff reductions resulting from economic downturns and restructuring of organisations. How is the HRD practitioner affected by such trends and new practices are appropriate to guide effective career development and talent management strategies. Career management today is vastly different from the practice that was appropriate a generation ago. South Africa companies need to adapt to an increasingly competitive business environment and unique national trends and workplace dynamics, some of these challenges and their implications for comprehensive career development need to be explored fundamentally before sound practice can be established and the proactive HRD practitioner will need to create new knowledge and technologies in contributing to the full realization of human potential in the workplace. Some of the evolving challenges to be addressed include the alignment of continuous learning and career development to the emerging NQF, extending appropriate development programmes to increasingly diverse and contingent sectors of the organisation’s workforce and to build internationally competitive capacity in a competency-starved national human resource. Training and knowledge transfer are part and parcel of continuous learning and successful reengineering and restructuring efforts in any organistion.

The downside is that you must assume more responsibility for upgrading your skills and competencies than did previous generations of HRD professionals. You’ll need to reinvent your role and redirect your career trajectory every few years as your job’s skill requirements change, as the demands and definition of training changes, and as your organization goes through change.3.1.

7 Proactive needs identification3.1.8 Training design3.1.9 Evaluation of training3.

1.10 Employment equity and diversity trainingWith the increasing importance of aligning training to international business practices comes the realization that training across cultures has some potential pitfalls. If training is conducted without prior consideration to cultural differences, the outcomes can be disastrous. Various organisations in the United States of America, United Kingdom, China, Singapore and South Africa have embarked on major diversity management initiatives in order to address these issues.

A holistic approach to diversity management is advocated, one that recognizes a diversity initiative as a process of organizational change that is associated with the acknowledgement of diversity as an important business strategy. The importance of diversity training as an important tool in supporting a diversity initiative and the ultimate goal of employment equity is increasingly emphasised. (Meyer, 2016: 5). One of the most pertinent challenges facing South African employers in the workplace today is the implementation of employment equity and black economic empowerment plans to redress the effects of discrimination in the workplace and South African society at large. Employment equity training and diversity training are the key components of an employment equity strategy.

The two issues should not be seen as two separate entities, but rather as an integrative system of HRD. Employment equity traning relates to the training interventions instituted to ensure that a company conforms to the legislative requirements of the Employment Equity Act and implements effective HRD strategies to achieve competitive advantage. Diversity training can help an organization to create an environment in which employment equity can be successfully implemented. Employment equity and diversity strategy contribute to the overall business strategy of the organization.

The role of HRD would be to inform top management of the business benefits of employment equity and diversity, such as improving the capacity of the company to target the black and female markets. The human resource department will be requested to support the policy development process. the HR or HRD manager is usually a major influence on the employment equity process. HRD will also play a significant role in terms of employment equity training.

Managers will have to be trained on how to conduct the employment equity analysis and how to compile employment equity plan. HRD should therefore ensure that the training companies provide reflects the principles of employment equity, diversity and inclusiveness. It is evident that HRD has a crucial role to play in ensuring that all employees and managers acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and values to make employment equity work. Employment equity and diversity training that is not well-planned and professionally developed, presented and integrated in organizational systems and culture has many pitfalls that can detrimentally affect employee morale and ultimately organizational performance. The end result of an effective employment equity training strategy is not only a more representative and effective workforce, but a more productive working environment in which business performance can be improved.

3.1.11 Learning organisation3.

2 Local trends in Human Resources DevelopmentMeyer (2016,05) stated that Local trends in HRD such as South Africa are driven by Skills Development Legislation and national HRD needs by the government. According to Nel ; Werner (2015,195) national Skills Development strategy points towards the way in which South Africa can build its skills to enable it to compete more successfully in the global economy. HRD strategy emphasizes skills development in terms of the skill development for the small to medium micro-enterprise sector (SMME) as a key issue in order to enhance its employment-creating potential.

The challenges experienced in the local ICT industry such as South African industry are discussed below. From an HRD perspective, three important phases have emerged, such as the current training legislation; the outcome of the education, training and development (ETD) practices project, and lastly the development of national HR standards, including learning and developments (L;D) standards providing a clear framework for sound HRD practice.Training legislationTraining legislation in South Africa regulates the training that takes place in organisations. The three main laws are the National Qualifications Authority Act 67 of 2008, which 4.

Skills development4.1 Skill Development Act No. 97 of 1998According to the Government Gazette for Republic of South Africa (1998), “skill development Act No.

97 of 1998 was develop to provide an institutional framework to devise and implement national, sector and workplace strategies to develop and improve the skills of the South African work force; to integrate those strategies within the National Qualifications Framework contemplated in the South African Qualifications Authority act, 1995; to provide for learner ships that lead to recognized occupational qualifications; to provide for the ‘financing of skills development by means of levy-grant scheme and a National Skill Fund; to provide for and regulate employment services; and to provide for matters connected therewith.”The purposes of the Act are:Furthermore, the Government Gazette for Republic of South Africa (1998) stated the reason why the Act exists and are as follows?a. To develop the skills of the South African workforce• To improve the quality of life of workers, their prospects of work and labour mobility;• To improve productivity in the workplace and the competitiveness of employers;• To promote self-employment; and• To improve the delivery of social servicesb. To increase the level of investment in education and training in labour market and to improve the return on that investmentc. To encourage employers• To use the workplace as an active learning environment;• To provide employees with the opportunities to acquire new skills;• To provide opportunities for new entrants to the labour market to gain work experience; and• To employ persons who find it difficult to be employed;d. To encourage workers to participate in leadership and other training programmed;e. To improve the employment prospects-of persons previously disadvantaged by unfair discrimination and to redress those disadvantages through training and education;f. To ensure the quality of education and training in and for the workplace;g.

To assist• Work-seekers to find work;• Retrenched workers tore-enter the labour market;• Employers to find qualified employees: andh. To provide and regulate employment services.4.2 Recommendation• As training and development in South Africa, especially at local government sphere which is closer to communities in service delivery, occupy strategic significance and relevance, the appointment of a dedicated skills development facilitator at senior level should be considered. The primary role of the skills development facilitator would be the compilation of the WSP and ATR.• The training and development committee should be capacitated through appointment of additional human resources with sufficient organizational authority to make decisions.• The GTLM needs to devise a credible and transparent communication strategy to ensure a speedy and reliable delivery of both strategy and operational information; and in this regards urgent efforts, such as investment in human and physical communication resources, have to be undertaken to streamline the ICT.

• The GTLM training and development policy document needs to be reviewed to give clarity to the role of the various stakeholders, such as the LGSETA, in the facilitation of training and development in the GTLM.• Critical consideration is required to address the issue of the relevance of training and development programmes, and this should be done in collaboration with the various stakeholders, such as labour unions and community structures.• Performance management should be monitored in order to enhance management accountability• The GTLM should appoint accredited service providers in training and development• Workplace Skills Plans should be developed in a transparent and consultative manner• The Mayor’s Bursary Fund should be administered within training and development structures to ensure proper strategic budget planning.• A management induction programme should be instituted to enable newly appointed managers to understand working circumstances and processes in the municipality.5.

Theoretical background5.1 Training and developmentNel &Werner (2015:193) posits that Training brings about behavioral changes required to meet management’s goals for the organization and is presented as a result of technological innovation in an organization. According to Noe ; Hollenbeck e.t.

c (2015, 289), training refers to a planned effort by a company to facilitate learning of job related competencies, knowledge, skills and behaviors by employees. The goal of training is for employees to master the knowledge, skills, and behaviors emphasized in training and apply them to their day to day activities. Traditionally, companies have relied on formal training that’s trains and develop programs, courses, and events that are developed and organized by the company. Despite companies’ significant investments in formal training and development activities, informal learning is also important for facilitating knowledge and skill acquisition (Noe ; Hollenbeck e.t.c.

2015, 289). Aborampa ; Darkwa (2016) Intimates that training encompasses the adoption of both formal and informal approaches to impart knowledge so that people get the required skills to deliver.Development, on the other hand, includes the formal education, job experiences, relationships, and assessment of personality and abilities that help employees prepare for the future.

It is aimed at employees serving in a managerial capacity or preparing for managerial posts within an organization Nel ;Werner (2015:194). According to Aborampa ; Darkwa (2016), development includes getting the skills, knowledge and other behaviors Although development can occur through participation in planned programs, it often results from performing different types of work. Because it is future-oriented, it involves learning that is not necessarily related to the employee’s current job. Traditionally, training focuses on helping employees’ performance in their current job. Development prepares them for other positions in the company and increases their ability to move into jobs that may not yet exist. Development also helps employees prepare for changes in their current jobs that may result from new technology, work design, new customers, or new product market. Development is especially critical for talent management, particularly for senior managers and employees with leadership potential. As training continues to become more strategic, the distinction between training and development will blur.

Both training and development will be required and will focus on current and future personal and company needs. (Noe ; Hollenbeck e.t.c 2015;406-407),5.2 Training or development process Training and development process refers to the stages or steps within a training and development program that ensures that the intended objectives can be achieved (Aborampa ; Darkwa, 2016). According to Noe ; Hollenbeck e.t.c (2015, 291) A key characteristic of training activities that contribute to competitiveness is that they are designed according to the instructional design process which refers to a systematic approach for developing training programs.

They are two types of Training design process; instructional system design (ISD) and the ADDIE model (analysis, design, development, implementation, evaluation). Table below presents the six stages of this process, which emphasizes that effective training practices involve more than just choosing the most popular training method. The first stage is to assess needs to determine if training is needed. The second stage involves ensuring employees have the readiness for training, and they have the motivation and basic skills to master training content..

The training design process should be systematic yet flexible enough to adapt to business needs and completed simultaneously because feedback from each stage in the training progress can be useful for the other stages. Designing training unsystematically will reduce the benefits such as, choosing a training method before determining training needs or ensuring employees’ readiness for training increases the risk that the method chosen will not be the most effective one for meeting training needs. Also, training may not even be necessary and may result in a waste of time and money! Employees may have the knowledge, skills, or behavior they need but simply not be motivated to use them5.2.1 NEEDS ASSESSMENT(Noe & Hollenbeck e.t.

c, 2015; 293) indicates that training Needs assessment, refers to the process used to determine if training is necessary. Three analysis are performed when doing a Needs assessment typically involves Organizational analysis, person analysis and task analysis. Table below shows the causes and outcomes resulting from needs assessment. Most cases training is necessary due to the following reasons; performance problem, new technology, internal or external customer requests for job training, job redesign, new legislation, changes in customer preferences, new product, or employees’ lack of basic skills as well as support for the company’s business strategy.5.2.2 Organizational analysisThree factors need to be considered before choosing training as the solution to any reason or pressure points: the company’s strategic direction, the training resources available, and support of managers and peers for training activities.

• Support of manager and peers- according to Noe ; Hollenbeck e.t.c (2015, 295) found that peer and manager support for training is critical. The key factor to success are a positive attitude among peers nd managers about participating in training activities; managers’ and peers’ willingness to tell trainees how they can more effectively use knowledge, skills, or behaviors learned in training on the job; and the availability of opportunities for the trainees to use training content in their jobs.

If peers’ and managers’ attitudes and behaviors are not supportive, employees are not likely to apply training content to their jobs.• Company strategy- the importance of business strategy for a company is to gain a competitive advantage and training should help companies achieve the business strategy. It is important to identify the prevailing business strategy and goals to ensure that the company allocates enough of its budget to training, that employees receive training on relevant topics, and that employees get the right amount of training. (Noe ; Hollenbeck e.

t.c 2015, 295) example……….• Training resources- it is necessary to identify whether the company has the budget, time, and expertise for training. Example…….

.Person analysis- involves determining whether performance deficiencies result from lack of knowledge, skill, or ability or from a motivational or work-design problem; identifying who needs training; and determining employees’ readiness for training.Task analysis – includes identifying the important tasks and knowledge, skill, and behaviors that need to be emphasized in training for employees to complete their tasks, such as identifying equipment and the environment the employee works in, time constraints or deadlines, safety considerations, or performance standards.Ensuring employees’ readiness for trainingThe second step in the training design process is to evaluate whether employee characteristics is motivated to learn, by ensuring employees’ self-efficacy; understanding the benefits of training; being aware of training needs; career interests, and goals; understanding work environment characteristics; and ensuring employees’ basic skill levels(Noe ; Hollenbeck e.

t.c 2015, 300)Creating a learning environmentAccording to Noe ; Hollenbeck e.t.c (2015, 300) learning is influenced by the learning environment. For employees to acquire knowledge and skills in the training program, the training program must have the factors necessary or learning principles for learning to occur. Such as, Employees need to understand why they need training and what they are expected to accomplish; the training context should be similar to work environment; trainees need to demonstrate or choose their practice strategy; opportunities for practice and feedback; eliminate distractions that could interfere with learning; and facilitate recall pf training content after training.Ensuring transfer of trainingStage 4 is to ensure that trainees apply the content of training to their jobs.

Transfer of training is influenced by manager support, peer support, opportunity to use learned capabilities, technology support, and self-management skills.• Manager support emphasize the importance of attending programs and stress the application of training content to the job.• Transfer of training can also be enhanced by creating a support network among trainees to discuss their progress in using learned capabilities on the job.

• Trainee is provided with or actively seeks experience with newly learned knowledge, skill, and behaviors from the training program.• Electronic performance support systems (EPSS) may be used to enhance transfer of training by giving trainees an electronic information source that they can refer to as needed as they attempt to apply learned capabilities on the job.• Training programs should prepare employees to self-manage their use of new skills and behaviors on the job.Selecting training methods Stage 5 involves choosing a training method that will provide the appropriate learning environment to achieve the training objectives. They are two types of training method, Presentation Method and Hands-on methods.

Table below provides an overview of the use of training methods across all size companies. The instructor-led classroom still remains the most frequently used training method. However, it is important to note that the use of online or computer based for training continues to increase and expectations are that this trend with continue. However, regardless of the training method, for training to be effective it needs to be based on the training design model.

One way to choose a method a training method is to compare methods; identify the type of learning outcome that you want training to influence.Evaluating training programsStage 6 is valuation, determining whether training achieved the desired learning outcomes or financial objectives.6. Concept of e-learning and learning organizations6.1 IntroductionVarious approaches to the delivery of training have evolved in modern times. These assists directly with the delivery of training to enhance the knowledge, skills, and behavior of employees. 6.

2 Overview of the learning organizationNel ; Werner (373) explains how everyone in the organization is engaged in identifying and solving problems, enabling the organization to continuously experiment, change, improve, grow, learn and achieve its purpose. In learning organizations employees solve problems as well, which means putting things together in unique ways as part of renewal of the organization.Characteristics of a learning organization6.3 Overview of E-learning According to Nel ; Werner (206) e-learning creates the environment for the new revolution in business that will create vast opportunities for the future. E-learning is a valuable tool for providing learning opportunities to public officials. It has been existing for the past ten years. However, a quarter of all learning is expected to take place electronically I five years’ time. Westhuizen & Wessels (2013;337)Westhuizen & Wessels (2013;337) defined E-learning as a mode of learning in which the learning resources are provided electronically.

Computer-based training product are the most common form of e-learning. Databases, slide shows, or other presentation formats on the computers are used to store learning topics and materials.In its broadest form, e-learning is undertaken at the following two level; • The provision of information via information or communication technologies in a very accessible and immediate way that can enable individuals to refresh or extend their knowledge and improve their performance; and• The provision of interactive learning materials and packages designed to facilitate skills or wider personal development. The actual courses currently provided via e-learning focus mainly on IT skills and, to a lesser extent, on softer skills such as general management skill, or more specific aspects of management such as interviewing, negotiation, conducting meetings, etc.Advantages and disadvantages of using computers as training toolsThe following advantages and disadvantages are applicable when using computers:Advantages• Self-paced learning is facilitated, and immediate feedback and reinforcement are provided.• Computers are interactive, which makes learning very flexible and allows for learner control.

• Computer-assisted instruction can be conducted from remote sites, on all shifts. It can be fitted into lulls in the work schedule that would otherwise be unproductive.• Managers and supervisors can be trained in their offices so that they are available to deal with job-related problems if necessary.• Transportation and lodging costs for trainees are nonexistent, and overall training costs can be reduced once the system has been developed.

• There is consistent quality of instruction over time and from group and subjectivity is eliminated.• Disruptions during instruction due to unexpected trainer problems such as illness are excluded.• Updates and changes can be disseminated very quickly to all training points.• Retentions of learning content is at least as good as in other instructional methods.• Slow learners have a greater chance of success than in classroom training.• Customized instruction can be developed according to each learner’s needs.Disadvantages• Computers require motivated learners, and students must be familiar with computer operations before they can learn.• Systems are costly to develop• Computer technology is changing rapidly, and an effort will have to be made to keep abreast of the latest changes.

• There is still widespread computer illiteracy and an effort has to be made to help employees overcome obstacles.Conclusion The assignment discusses the international and local trends in HRD. It is evident that there are new and increasingly complex challenges for the HRD managers who wants to make a significant contribution to organizational performance in an increasing complex and fast-changing business and social environment. A strategic learning approach is needed to optimize HRD. The impact of worldwide trends and developments in a competitive business environment will constantly change the role of the HRD function. Companies are beginning to recognize the need for L;D and HRD professionals in their organization to keep their human resource at the cutting edge.

Moreover, it appears that the information age requires a different kind of leaner, one who can learn very fast, one more highly skilled than in the past. The same principle applies to L;D managers as professionals. The assignment explored the Skills Development Strategy overseen by the Department pf Higher Education and Training as a necessary component for economic development and growth in South Africa, as well as the NQF and QCTO established by the NQF Act as the basic mechanism for achieving the goals of the Skill Development Act. However, given the continuous prevalence of serious skills gaps in the country on the back of poor education system, dysfunctional SETAs and other skills development mechanisms, the whole skill development and higher education system is under review


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