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Title: The role of line managers in the implementation of skills development at a local municipality and its impact on service delivery
Authors: Govender, Murthie Moonusamy 
Issue Date: 2017
Journal: Asian journal of chemistry (Online) 
Skills Development is one of the key priorities of the National Development Plan Vision for 2030, which views it (skills development) as a catalyst for the unemployment reduction in South Africa. Skills Development is a key National Priority in South Africa and requires a new approach to training and development, one that calls for positive interventions.

However, a challenge has been identified, namely the lack of commitment and support to skills development by line managers at municipal level. The problem was not confined to the institutional capacity of the Municipality but included the individual capacity of the line managers who is responsible for managing employees. The challenge was ensuring that they have the relevant capacity and skills to undertake their functions. Managers are accountable for the development of their subordinates but tend to neglect their role in the area of skills development.

Existing research focuses on the role of line managers in training and development and the significance of managerial support in training and development. However, there is a gap because managers understand training and development but do not understand their role in supporting and developing their subordinates, which impacts negatively on the performance of the organisation which in turn impacts negatively on the delivery of services. Human Resource Development (HRD) literature remains largely theoretical and rhetorical in encouraging line managers to take responsibility for training and development.

The overall aim of the study was to identify the role of line managers in the implementation of skills development at a local municipality and the impact thereof on service delivery. A quantitative research study was undertaken to achieve the objectives of the study. One hundred and ten managers on Patterson Grades D1 to E2 were targeted for the study. They were required to complete self-administered questionnaires.

The findings of the study will assist line managers to understand the positive impact that training and development has on the performance of employees, which ultimately impacts on the achievement of business goals and objectives.

The findings are;

• Managers understand the training and development practices of the municipality but do not know how to support the training and development of their subordinates.
• Managers believe that the organisation supports training and development but do not know if the organisation has an approved Workplace Skills Plan (WSP) that is being implemented; whether the organisation has a training and development strategy which is related to the overall strategy of the organisation; and whether the training of employees is given adequate importance in the organisation and is being managed in a proactive way.
• A majority of the managers believe that training and development of employees has an impact on service delivery, but cannot agree whether training and development has helped improve the performance of employees in the organisation.
• In terms of what can be used to encourage managers’ buy-in to training and development within the organisation, the overall average level of agreement was 88.0% .The scores for this section demonstrated that managers lack the necessary skills and competencies when it comes to the identification of training needs and training gaps.

The findings of this research has identified that although managers are experienced in local government and have an understanding of the training and development practices of the municipality, they tend to get stuck in the authoritative managerial role and cannot switch into the facilitator role, which impacts on the way that they perform their skills development function as a manager. This therefore impacts negatively on the development of employees and on the delivery of services by the municipality. Without skilled, competent employees, no services can be rendered to communities.
Submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters in Technology: Business Administration, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2017.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Management Sciences)

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