Career Development can improve Employability
by Melanie Bothma

Career development is a lifelong process during which you develop new ideas about yourself and your career identity.  The 21st century world of work has rapid developments in technology and globalisation of the economy and job markets. There is constant outsourcing of work, downsizing of companies and customising of jobs. More people are in temporary and part-time employment and increasing numbers of people are becoming self- employed. As a result of these changes, an individual’s employability is critical to ensuring successful career-pathing. In most occupations there is a trend towards change, unpredictability, innovation and creativity and a demand for people with interpersonal and intrapersonal skills.  You can no longer afford to have a static, ‘once- off choice’ view of career. Your employability will likely depend on you having to make a number of career decisions ...
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From the Beginning: Skills Development for a Greater SA
by Candice Lambert

March 2016 Until recently, compliance has largely been the driving force for workplace skills development in South Africa. However increasingly, CEOs and other business decision makers are realising the need for a more sustainable solution: growing a workforce that both meets their compliance needs and the overall goals of the business. This sustainable development requires transformation to be forward-thinking tool. Candice Lambert, Strategic Business Development Consultant at Progression, looks at developing talent from the ground up in the ‘grow your own’ concept, addressing the issue of compliance versus sustainable and strategic business growth, as well as the need for contribution to Skills Development on a National level. “The ‘Grow Your Own’ concept is a principle or practice that responds to the National drive around the unemployment crisis,” states Cand...
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Top Tips for Applying for Your Dream Job

The search for a job can be a difficult and daunting task. Finding and applying for the right job often involves applying for multiple positions, with plenty of competition from other candidates applying for the same position. So how do you ensure that the person receiving your job application is going to notice you? Ali Tambellini, Progression’s Training Academy Manager, talks about her top tips and what to do when applying for jobs or enagaging with the recruitment industry. Include a cover letter on your application. When writing your cover letter make sure that it is punchy and to the point. Remember that it needs to summarise your interest in the position. The person reading this has a mountain of applications to plough through so make sure it keeps the person interested and doesn’t ramble on and on. Optimise your CV. Your CV itself needs to remain as factual and to the point as pos...
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The Importance of Employment Equity and its Implementation

February 2016 In discussions around Employment Equity, Affirmative Action is usually the first thing that springs to mind. However, the truth is that Affirmative Action is only a small piece of the Employment Equity puzzle. Merusha Singh, recently appointed Skills Development Facilitator at Progression, unpacks the purpose of South Africa’s Employment Equity legislation as well as the various elements involved in its implementation. In this article she highlights the role of the Employment Equity Committee, the value that it adds to the implementation of the EE Act within the organisation as well as some of the challenges that it faces.  To set the tone, I think it is important to take a brief look at the key drivers behind the introduction of Employment Equity into our country’s legislation. Prior to South Africa becoming a democratic state, laws dating back to the colonial and ...
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Addressing Our Thinking Towards Disability
by Justene Smith

3 December 2015 is recognised by the United Nations as International Day for Persons with Disabilities. The theme for 2015, as laid out by the United Nations, is a simple yet powerful message: Inclusion Matters! Justene Smith, Disability Expert at Progression, shares her insights about what we need to consider when addressing our attitudes towards disability, ensuring an inclusive and barrier-free workplace in order to promote access and empowerment for people of all abilities. People with disabilities encounter many different forms of barriers in the workplace.  Not only are these barriers presented by the physical environment, but they may also include negative beliefs and attitudes around people with disabilities that could lead to discriminatory behaviour towards an individual. It is often the case that these attitudinal barriers pose the greatest challenge for the integration of people wit...
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Mentoring in the Workplace

December 2015 In today’s business world, having a motivated workforce that can carry the business forward, while maintaining the integrity of the business, is vital. Yet organisations are facing the challenge of an aging workforce that leads to the question “How can we sustain a business and cultivate the next generation of CEO’s, HOD’s, line managers etc. that will lead the business successfully into the future?” Ali Tambellini, Training Manager at Progression, unpacks the importance of mentorship in the workplace and why growing employees at a human level is good for business. I recently attended a mentorship workshop that Progression offers to clients who are embarking on a Skills Development programme where learners are typically new to the workplace and have little or no work experience. We often come across scenarios in which the employer and learner are unable ...
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Mental Health Awareness Month: Removing the Stigma
by Justene Smith

October 2015 October is recognised as national Mental Health Awareness Month. This year, the South African Department of Health has highlighted the importance of mental health in the workplace and supporting colleagues with mental health conditions. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) an estimated 450 million people worldwide experience or live with mental or neurological disorders or some form of psychosocial condition.  This places mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide. It is further estimated that only one third of individuals diagnosed with a mental health condition will seek and participate in treatment from a professional health practitioner. The South African Federation for Mental Health believes that stigma, prejudice and discrimination brought about by lack of understanding and education around mental health conditions are the le...
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Understanding the role Universal Design plays toward an Inclusive and Accessible Workplace

August 2015 Hiten Bawa, Architect and Universal Access Consultant unpacks the various considerations of Universal Access within physical environments and the critical role it plays in enabling full participation for everyone. The introduction of inclusive policies and non-discriminatory legislation in the workplace is encouraging companies and institutions to be more inclusive in their approach toward a diverse workforce, including individuals with disabilities. In a recent article by Progression’s Diversity and Disability experts, the issue of Reasonable Accommodation was unpacked, assessing the benefits that inclusive and accessible workplaces bring to organisations.  Recognising the importance and benefits of managing diversity in the workplace, the first step to creating these enabling workplaces is through accessible work environments. Universal Access is a concept that addresses t...
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Accessible workplaces unlock potential

July 2015 “The right to work is a fundamental human right. However, persons with disabilities are often not considered in employment due to negative perceptions regarding their ability to contribute or the high cost of accommodating their disability or inaccessible workplaces. Often, employers are unaware of the valuable contribution persons with disabilities can make in a diverse workplace, through the use of adaptive and assistive technologies, and other reasonable accommodation measures.” – UN. Members of the Progression team, Justene Smith, Disability Specialist, and Julia Wood, Organisational Development Manager, have unpacked what reasonable accommodation is and how it can improve the accessibility of a workplace, unlocking potential and creating an inclusive environment for all individuals to grow and participate. People with disabilities are becoming more integrated into th...
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The importance of training and developing Soft Skills in an organisation
by Tarryn Mason

July 2015 Soft Skills, often associated with an individual’s EQ (Emotional Intelligence Quotient), are personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with others. EQ impacts how individuals recognise and manage their behaviour in relation to their social environment and is considered as the foundation for a host of critical skills. Soft skills are an important area of development in the workforce. While not as easy to identify as hard technical skills, soft skills enable a social, productive organisation, ultimately supporting both individual and organisational growth. Tarryn Mason, General Manager of Progression, looks at what defines soft skills, their importance within an organisation, and how your organisation can help to implement soft skills training. The importance of soft skills in an organisation cannot be over-emphasised. Soft Skills are supporting...
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