Skills audit under way in forwarding industry

The South African Association of Freight Forwarders (Saaff) is in the process of launching a skills audit of the technical skills in the industry.

According to Willem Cilliers, this will give a clear indication of the industry skills set as it stands at present.

“When we talk about skills and the level of skills we have to remember that it is never static, but rather dynamic, moving all the time,” he said.

Speaking at the annual Saaff conference in Cape Town recently, he said the ultimate objective was to develop a single platform from which the different requirements could be addressed while progress was being tracked.

“There is a continuous demand for skills and those skills are changing all the time. The logistics barometers and indices measure many things in our industry but never the cost of people,” he said. “This project is really about what it actually all comes down to – people and the skills they have.”

He said three stakeholders had been identified as part of the project.

“The first stakeholder is the employer who has a certain requirement for his business,” he said. “So what are the skills that are needed for the industry, but also who are the best people for the business?”

Another stakeholder group was training and development which was tasked with developing people and delivering the capacity required, while the third stakeholder was the freight professional body that assessed people and gave them professional designations.

“We therefore need to create a single platform in our industry that has the skills model incorporated into it. It will say these are the defined skills sets required for this industry,” he said. “It will also have the job profile where those skills are translated - in other words if this is your job, then these are the skills required. This all becomes standard across the industry linking it all to specific levels required to do a specific job. This will make a world of difference to the industry at large.”

He said through this audit training could be far more targeted, allowing for effective development of people in the freight industry.

“We will also be able to monitor and track the return on investment when it comes to skills development.”

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