As global markets continue to try to get to grips with the effects of widespread financial turmoil, the question under consideration within key local industries is whether or not enough is being done to train and develop skills.

Teryl Schroenn, CEO at Accsys, says that as far as the HR and payroll field is concerned, more needs to be done to equip job seekers with relevant skill sets, as well as effectively recruit and place these individuals.
It is generally understood amongst established, credible service providers targeting these specific industries that today job seekers require as much assistance and support as possible in their quest to secure employment.
Present day market conditions, consolidation, employment equity, competition for market share, retrenchment and other challenges facing those seeking employment means that Accsys’ ongoing campaign endorsing the need for education and skills development has entered its most important and mission-critical phase.
“Our message to the market is straightforward – training and skills development is essential to the future of Human Resources and payroll administration," says Schroenn.
"Whether or not the decision maker believes in the skills development levy policy, procedure or criteria, it is an investment that companies have to make and our country cannot afford to neglect.
"Our message to applicants and candidates hoping to secure employment is just as clear – use every available means of enhancing skills and improving marketability through education and internships.”
The pressing need for the industry and regulatory bodies, such as the Sector Education and Training Authorities, to work closer remains a headache for most stakeholders, she adds.
Accsys has been at the forefront of industry efforts to establish and run training, eLearning, learnerships and recruitment programs.
Whilst the company has earned recognition for its track record of success, Schroenn is mindful of the road that lies ahead for the HR and payroll industries, in terms of bringing in sufficient skills to address shortages.
One of the concerns within the industry is the lack of coverage or focus on HR and payroll at school level. A common feeling amongst experts within HR and payroll services is that school leavers are reluctant to pursue career opportunities, specifically within payroll administration.
The general consensus is that many payroll administrators find themselves in the position by default. This is an issue that Accsys is tackling head-on.
“We have been very public in our support of, and contribution to, initiatives such as the Cell C Bring a Girl Child to Work Day. We went one step further and hosted a similar event for male learners.
"It is critical that we do all we can to ensure that learners are exposed directly to the workings of a well-run company, that they get to experience, first-hand, what takes place at various levels of operation. The sooner a learner can see what a career involves on a practical, day-to-day basis, the better for all concerned,” says Schroenn.
Part of the issue is an unsettled socio-economic climate, but another very key point is the mixed response by companies to the call for more focused training and attention to their skills development responsibilities.
“Many companies are reluctant to invest in training under normal conditions. In trying circumstances, such as that which is experienced during a recession and the need to curb expense, training usually takes a back seat.
"Unfortunately, this has the reverse effect because neglecting staff development can result in costly errors, low morale and negative impact on staff retention,” adds Schroenn.
At the same time Accsys management is aware of businesses that have adopted a more pragmatic approach to the situation and have stated their intention to rather train and invest in the skills of their staff than have to resort to retrenchment.
The rationale is that this approach results in improved morale and ultimately enhanced services and general operation in the long-run.
It is here where the company adds value via its Accsys PeoplePlace Recruitment Division, which is positioned to facilitate the effective recruitment of skilled individuals and assist them to secure employment at companies on the look out for personnel.
Irrespective of how long it takes for the economic situation to right itself and how much investment in training and skills development is actually made, Schroenn points out that untrained or unskilled personnel handling the payroll of a company is a definite risk to the organisation.
“The cost of taking a risk with having untrained or inexperienced payroll practitioners manage often vast amounts of money and entrusting them with the responsibility of compliance with tax and HR legislation, can be substantial.
"A renewed appreciation for the role of a payroll administrator, and the need for ongoing training and skills development to reinforce career development and effective placement is what is required going forward,” concludes Schroenn.