Lead Sponsor Message

Dr Felleng Yende

Chief Executive Officer

Fibre Processing & Manufacturing Sector Education & Training Authority (FP&M SETA)

The rapidly changing business environments, precipitated by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, means that as HR managers, executives and non-executive directors, we should be in a position to lead, motivate and monitor staff whom we rarely see in person and be able to cultivate close links with customers and suppliers who are based hundreds if not thousands of kilometres away.

HR and people management are more important than ever, especially since many people have lost their jobs due to the adverse effect of the pandemic on the South African economy. The public and private sectors are looking to the HR and people management community as a critical player in the revival of the economy.

However, due to the sudden shift in the business environment, managers, executives and non-executive directors find it increasingly difficult to lead, motivate and monitor staff. It is difficult to motivate someone who you rarely see in person or to nurture relationships with customers and suppliers that you are not able to connect with face-to-face.

Covid-19 has taught us that workers and managers of the future should and must become experts at handling long-distance relationships and be able to adapt to rapidly changing business environments.

It is therefore fortuitous that the rapid changes we are experiencing also comes with incredible opportunities, especially for those who develop the necessary skills to adapt and thrive in the post-Covid new normal. Covid-19 has taught us that workers and managers of the future should and must become experts at handling long-distance relationships and be able to adapt to rapidly changing business environments.

Thanks to advances in technology more staff are able to work from home or from remote locations. The pandemic has also enabled companies to experiment with new organisational architectures during the lockdown. It is no longer necessary for every employee to report to the workplace daily. These developments demand that we should be capable of creating effective and user-friendly performance measures that can be monitored easily.

Our partnership with the Institute of People Management (IPM) through its flagship annual Convention & Exhibition is important to the development of key and critical HR and people management skills in the industry sectors we represent.

FP&M SETA’s mandate is to implement the objectives of the National Skills Development Plan and to ensure that our young people obtain the critical or scarce skills that are needed to build the capacity of our industrial sectors so that they become economically sustainable and globally competitive. It is therefore important for our youth to know the contributions of SETA in assisting them to develop relevant skills.

Through our work, FP&M SETA continues to make major strides in uplifting, empowering and upskilling the youth in the industry sectors we serve.

The IPM Convention & Exhibition is a respected platform where we are not only able to promote the FP&M SETA brand, our work and our contribution to skills development in South Africa but where we can engage with key stakeholders, HR professionals and experts, industry leaders and thinkers. We are also able to access potential talent in the education and training environment as well as insight and best practise in human capital development.

The youth is a huge focus for FP&M SETA. The rising levels of youth unemployment in South Africa requires immediate, decisive and purposeful action from the public and private sector. Through our work, FP&M SETA continues to make major strides in uplifting, empowering and upskilling the youth in the industry sectors we serve. We, therefore, welcome IPM’s intensive focus on youth at this year’s Convention, which will see youth benefit from the insight, knowledge and networking that the Convention offers for free. We look forward to youth in our sector being part of the “big reset” at this year’s Convention as a critical part of our efforts to stimulate and revive our economy.

We are very excited to continue enhancing our partnership with IPM by fully coming on board again for the 65th edition of the Convention & Exhibition. In these unpredictable times, partnerships are vital for us to effectively move forward, adapt and achieve success in our respective sectors. I hope to meet you virtually in November to reset, rework and reimagine the HR and people management industry in Covid times and beyond.