The Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) continues to drive its mandate towards the development of Botswana’s Human Resource to achieve a knowledge-based society and economy. Through coordinating collaborations with key stakeholders, the HRDC has ensured effective engagement with diverse sectors across industry and the public service. The HRDC has hosted a series of meetings with stakeholders such as: Professional Bodies; Levy Payers; Education and Training Providers; Non-Government Organisations and community leaders.

On the 3rd May, 2023 HRDC held a Breakfast meeting with Botswana Diamond Manufactures Association (BDMA). This was followed by another breakfast meeting with Professional Bodies and Associations on the 7th June, 2023. From the 12th -15th June, 2023, the Council engaged with Levy Payers in Maun through a business breakfast meeting and one-on-one engagements.

The objectives of these engagements were to sensitise stakeholders about the HRDC’s mandate and to solicit innovative ways of how the HRDC Fund can be used to advance skills development. Specifically, the one –on –one engagements helped with appreciation of the operations of the different industries. This was also to reflect and gain more insight on specific skills needs of the respective industries which are diverse and undertaking a lot of work-based training activities.

It was noted that there are sector-specific challenges that require attention. The meetings also provided an opportunity for stakeholders to explore how they can benefit from the Fund to build professional capacity in their workplaces, as well as appreciating the challenges and concerns that their sectors are facing in advancing skills development.

The Chief Executive Officer of HRDC, Professor Alinah K. Segobye informed the stakeholders that as the coordinator of Human Capital Development, HRDC values the need to collaborate and build sustainable partnerships with industry. HRDC remains committed to facilitating a conducive working environment between all key stakeholders including civic society. In this regard, the Council appreciates the critical role that different stakeholders play in skills development particularly understanding and appreciation of the dynamics of workplace training and learning activities. In conclusion, the CEO encouraged stakeholders to continuously engage with the HRDC to ensure that all the partners in skills development are aligned to create solutions going forward.

Some of the benefits highlighted about the Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF) include reimbursement to employers the costs incurred in training of their citizen employees. It was also indicated that, although the Fund reimburses for accredited/recognised short courses and TVET training, HRDC recognises the importance of product related training. Product related training refers to company specific training that is related to the use of machines or technology used in their specific operations.  Stakeholders were also advised that the Fund operates a levy/grant model which provides incentives for employers to train their employees. Stakeholders were informed that the responsibilities of employers in the skills development initiatives include among others, development of work skills training plans that are preferably aligned to National priorities. The use credible Education and Training Providers (ETPs) in delivery of learning programmes was also emphasised.

Stakeholders were informed that HRDC is in the process of developing the e-HRDF system which is expected to improve effectiveness, efficiency, access, and convenience on utilisation of the Fund. It was also highlighted that there will be a comprehensive review of the Fund and operational instruments to be more responsive to changing landscape. HRDC will also develop the Business Code of Ethics and Guidelines to enhance transparency, accountability and fairness. 

The challenges experienced by HRDC in administering the Fund were also shared. These include low uptake of the Fund; high pricing by some trainers; accreditation/ recognition issues; failure to seek pre-approvals; late submissions of claims and incidences of fraud.   

Workplace Learning is another HRDC’s core function, which stakeholders were informed about during the engagements. This function includes promotion of skills training and development in the workplace, as well as capacity building of Workplaces on the development of Work Skills Training Plans. Through this function, HRDC is also responsible for approval of Non-Credit Bearing Short Courses (NCBSCs), which are skills development interventions that address the operational skills gaps in the industry.

Some of the challenges experienced through Workplace Learning, were noted as: low submission of Work Skills Training Plans (WSTP) by employers; Training without prior approval and engaging in training that may not directly be relevant and or unplanned. Stakeholders were further advised that they must engage the different Education and Training Providers to diversify skills development for their work force and to target quality services.

In conclusion, HRDC acknowledges and extends sincere thanks to Khoemacau Copper Mining, Wilderness Air and Wilderness Safari and Aliboats for their hospitality and support during the Maun stakeholder visits.  HRDC thanked the companies for sharing with them the skills needs and challenges experienced by the industries in trying to build professional skills capacity in their workplaces. HRDC commits to further engage with stakeholders to address challenges, as well as collaborating with them in implementing solutions that will promote workplace learning and effective utilisation of the Fund.  

News Date: 
Tuesday, June 27, 2023