From an employee perspective, career development is about individuals taking charge of their careers and maximizing development opportunities. It involves the identification of competencies and development needs at present, as well as what is needed in order to further their careers in the desired directions. Project Noah For SAB, increased competitiveness to survive and grow is an imperative. The quest for world-class performance inevitably results in significant organizational restructuring, with consequent job modification or loss. In 1996, SAB and FAWU discussed their mutual concerns – and FAWU’s particular concern – about employee security and the effects of global competitiveness.
This resulted in the birth of an initiative called Project Noah, aimed at developing alternatives for employees who have been retrenched. SAB and FAWU attended a workshop at the headquarters of the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Geneva, Switzerland. These interactions with the ILO, and with business and labour internationally, reinforced the realities of competitiveness and pointed to the need for creative strategies, which focused on the development of small new enterprises as a global priority. A joint statement of intent emerged from this workshop as the rationale and principles for Project Noah.
Essentially, Project Noah establishes centres in cities or towns in South Africa, where retrenchments of SAB employees are anticipated. These centres are temporary, with a lifespan of about eight months, and are staffed with contractors who provide administrative, business and psychological support for retrenchees. Noah neither replaces nor interferes with any SAB/FAWU agreements and industrial relations processes.
Management and the union negotiate on retrenchments and severance packages without any involvement from Noah. While SAB funds all of the services and support given to retrenchees, there is no longer an employment relationship between these people and SAB or Noah itself. Retrenchees therefore use the Noah services voluntarily, in line with their own unique needs. Noah cannot guarantee employment. It can at best provide optimum support to enable retrenchees to pursue new careers. It recognizes that individual commitment, effort and enterprise are prerequisites for success.
While many obstacles and frustrations do occur, Noah is encouraged by the success it has achieved to date: 161 small, micro and medium-sized businesses have been initiated with retrenchees. These businesses cover a range of industries from farming to manufacturing and service businesses and have been of real value to both the employed and unemployed in South Africa. Additionally, Noah has also established a business incubator, which has the capacity to house and nurture over 20 small businesses at any given time. As a joint venture with Government, the community, and labour, SAB also initiated a rural micro incubator in the Eastern Cape, which has initiated in excess of 100 businesses over the past nine months.
Legislation, i.e. Competitions Act and Liquor Act Strong skills base The need to promote responsible use of alcohol Ongoing need to plan for succession depth Changing consumer preferences and patterns Ongoing focus on organization effectiveness issues Beer and liquor competitors both nationally and internationally Increasing need to support international operations, in terms of resourcing, best practices, etc. A sluggish economy Continuous upgrade of technology and systems, e.g. SAP Tremendous skills shortage Internal pride due to corporate reputation The impact of HIV+/AIDS Equity with reference to both race and gender High levels of crime The challenge of retaining scarce skills High levels of unemployment. Knowledge management.
The high profile and subsequent impact of SAB on the South African economy makes it essential that environmental factors are dealt with in an extremely professional manner. This requires collaboration with key stakeholders, including other businesses, Government, communities, labour, etc. SAB’s impact on South Africa can be seen in the following ways: In terms of excise and company taxation, SAB is the largest single contributor to the fiscus, exceeding the contribution of the mining industry as a whole.
Conservatively, the up- and downstream impact of SAB’s operations translates into the creation of approximately 400,000 jobs, the majority of these being in Black-owned retail and on-premise outlets, known as “shebeens” and “taverns”. In summary, human capital competitiveness for SAB is based on superordinate goals/driving forces that include the following: achieve and maintain internationally benchmarked levels of competitive performance and productivity across all functions and levels of employment; establish a qualified, educated and flexible workforce that is capable of managing all requirements of changing competitive and technological challenges; ensure optimum efficiency and effectiveness of teams and individuals across the value chain; ï¿½nurture and develop depth of knowledge and skills in core competencies that drive South Africa’s business and industry.