The Importance of Disability Equity Audits
by Candice Lambert

Disability Equity Audits can be better understood as  ‘disclosure campaigns’ and have been implemented by Progression since the business started in 2002. Through our in-the-field experience, Progression has found that not all staff members disclose their disabilities to HR personnel. There are various reasons for this, the main being a lack of knowledge as to what may be classified as a disability. All too often, staff are unaware that their condition falls within the definition of disability. In addition, employees are unsure as to whether the business is prepared to manage, or capable of handling, the disclosure, as well as how they will be treated during and after the disclosure process. In short, a Disability Equity Audit aims to increase employees’ understanding of disability. In addition, it aims to create awareness of the organisation’s disability disclosure proce...
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Combatting Unemployment one Learnership at a Time
by Tarryn Mason

It is extremely unsettling to know that 50.9% of South Africa’s youth are unemployed. It is therefore evident that more focus needs to be placed on how we can assist the youth in entering the job market without a formal tertiary qualification in order to contribute positively to the country's economy. The job market is a competitive one, with the requirements  for gaining first time employment becoming more out of reach for many young South Africans, especially for people with disabilities (PWD). A tertiary qualification and experience seem to be essential and appear on many employers’ list of requirements. Many dream of one day attaining a tertiary qualification however for most of South Africa’s youth, it remains just that - a dream. Due to the lack of funds, amongst other reasons, for many young South Africans a secondary, or even a primary education, is unobtainable, nev...
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Shedding Light on Disability in the Workplace

Written by Imogen Rossam. March 2017. As a Business Development Consultant for Progression, Melanie Bothma interacts with many clients across a range of industries.  An all too often occurrence however, is the existence of common misconceptions, prejudices and stigmas that she sees on a daily basis. Melanie discusses some of the most common of these with Progression’s Disability Expert, Justene Smith.  Justene gives us insight into alternative ways of thinking in order to promote transformation and social change. I know what a person with a disability can and can’t do Melanie:  I recently had a client who declined a very good learner for a learnership position.  When I asked why they declined him, I was told it was because he had one arm and it was assumed then that he wouldn’t be able to type or complete admin tasks.  How can I assist my clients to stay ...
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Skills Development Trends for 2017

January 2017 ‘Trends for the new year’ – a buzz phrase that fills our social media feeds as companies kick off the year by telling their clients “What to expect in 2017” or “What will drive your business to success in the new year”. The fact is that very often we don’t see anything new or different, just reminders of what we should have implemented the previous year or perhaps the year before. So to get you started from a Skills Development perspective, our team has compiled a brief list of what we think should be the ‘top of mind’ elements when preparing your Training and Development Programme for 2017. The role of technology in training and development Online and digital learning platforms are on the increase, allowing training and development to become accessible to a broader audience. Advances in software as well as affordability are ...
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Measuring Effectiveness of Employee Training and Development
by Beth Cook

December 2016 Employee training and development plays a critical role in advancing organisational performance, but is not always a priority for top management. HR Practitioners can make use of critical KPIs for employee development in order to justify the investment of time and money towards improving organisational talent. On-the-job training through mentorship programmes, short courses or skills programmes linked to employee roles or up-skilling a person into a new role through a learnership or bursary are just a few of the training interactions that organisations make decisions around each year.  The effectiveness of these programmes and the motivation behind their implementation can only be discovered if there are measurements put in place. Some of the standardised measurements or KPIs that can be adopted in order to understand the effectiveness of the training are highlighted below: Empl...
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Growing Critical Thinking in the Workplace
by Beth Cook

November 2016 At Progression we assess thousands of young school, college and varsity leavers for entry into the workplace or further skills opportunities each year. What constantly amazes me is that only a very small percentage of these individuals have the ability to think critically and strategically, a skill that would make them workplace ready. This is a skill that is missing regardless of the level of qualification that the candidate holds, the quality of the education facility they have graduated from or the amount of working experience they have achieved. Critical thinking skills involve logical reasoning based on available evidence and give an individual the ability to evaluate and improve on thought processes.  Above all it is the ability for an individual to think independently and link ideas in a way that is original and unique. So why are critical thinking skills such an important...
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Five Considerations for Building a Disability Awareness Strategy
by Justene Smith

November 2016 Continuing from the article What is Disability Awareness & why is it important? Justene Smith, Disability Specialist at Progression, unpacks some important considerations for organisations when building an effective Disability Awareness Strategy. 1. What does my organisation want to achieve? Disability awareness can be implemented for many purposes depending on the desired outcomes of the organisation. Disability awareness can focus on sharing basic information about disability, it could be used to capacity-build managers to better understand disability and manage this in a more proactive and effective way going forward and to implement their own awareness in the future, or it could assist in preparing a workplace in anticipation of a Disability Disclosure Audit. Setting clear and concise outcomes that talk to all areas of the business is very important. In addition, companies ne...
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What is Disability Awareness in the Workplace and Why is it Important?
by Justene Smith

November 2016 Despite the ongoing effort to introduce disability into the workplace, many people with disabilities still face discrimination when accessing the open labour market. Statistically, only a small percentage of people with disabilities are employed. Furthermore, of the people with disabilities that are employed, many are in positions of low-level work with reduced promotional opportunities, often as a result of lack of skills and experience as well as social barriers which impede engagement in the workplace. Justene Smith, Disability Specialist at Progression, unpacks the various considerations around disability in the workplace and the important role disability awareness plays in creating accessible and inclusive environments. Understanding the social context of disability Historically (and still in our more modern societies), people with disabilities have been marginalised due to lim...
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5 Important Lessons about Community Development
by Candice Lambert

August 2016 Social upliftment has become everybody’s responsibility. As a result, organisations are looking at investments outside of their traditional stakeholder framework, reflecting on their impact on both the people and environments around them. Candice Lambert, Head of Strategic Business Development at Progression and Director of RISE, a community development inspired initiative in partnership with Progression, shares her insights and learnings around the subject of developing communities. “The Third World is not a statistical abstraction nor a set of political or economic principles; it is, first and foremost, people: men, women and children, each with his or her own peculiar intelligence and emotions, tragedies and successes, pleasure and suffering, realities and dreams. The human dimension is easily forgotten amid the sea of statistics, generalities, theories, and ideologies tha...
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Workplace Readiness is a Critical Step to Successful Skills Development

May 2016 Workplace readiness can often be a major challenge for first-time entrants into the workplace. This often results in additional pressure for employers and employees alike when embarking on a skills development or empowerment programme.  A lack of exposure, limited knowledge of the business environment and the underdeveloped interpersonal or soft skills of many young entrants (especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds) are just some of the challenges facing previously unemployed candidates. “Bridging the gap into the working world is thus a critical first step in addressing the need for larger talent pools within business and industry, and certainly a step that corporate South Africa can actively participate in,” says Imogen Rossam, Business Development Consultant at Progression. Workplace readiness programmes offer a great means for organisations to prepare first-tim...
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