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The Truth about 42- Features

Skills shortage crisis needs creative solutions¬Ě

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 By Tahir Sema

The solution to the skills crisis lies outside the company as much as it does within the company, “more specifically, in interim management”.

Kate Lester, Director of Tuesday Consulting – specialist search consultants say “the challenge of skills development may find its solution in interim management”.

According to Lester “Developing an internal skills pipeline is crucial to a company’s ability to remain competitive. The problem is that the task of growing this pipeline falls to middle managers, who are invariably stretched by a laundry list of deliverables, and have the largest number of staff reporting to them, as well as the largest portion of the budget under their control”.

Over worked managers often tend to underutilize their staff members and run the risk of loosing them, skilled professionals according to Lester are now looking for more than just the salary and perks the company is willing to offer, they are looking for growth opportunities within a company and the need for “balance and flexibility. The current market is the domain of the job-seeker”.

Lester explains “Interim managers are a common feature of business in America, the UK and Europe. They are usually brought into organisations during periods of crisis or growth, either to fill an immediate gap for a critical skill until the company can fill the gap permanently, or to provide expertise in a particular area for a specific period, such as until a special project is complete.”

Interim managers can be well utilized in the South African framework. The skills shortage problem is not an exclusively South African problem; it is a problem that’s experienced in Australia and much of the European Union, it is undoubtedly a global predicament. It is a complex problem that calls for creative solutions like that of adopting interim management in South African companies.

The general notion based on how you interpret the statistics, is that South Africa is currently facing a skills shortage crisis. Much time has been spent debating the degree of the skills shortage and some like Jimmy Manyi president of the Black management forum believe that there is no skills shortage it is rather a euphemism and an urban myth.


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