Skills Development Partnership
Willie du Plessis, General Manager (Legal), Eskom Holdings Limited, South Africa
In terms of in-house human resource policies, each employee must have an agreed development plan for each year and attend a minimum prescribed number of training days. In addition to this requirement, the Legal Advisors should attend certain training for general skills maintenance and development to assist with the exchange of Legal Advisors and succession planning. To facilitate an enhanced programme, Eskom has contracted with its Panel of Attorneys to provide most of the training at no cost to the Eskom Legal Advisors and other employees. The training includes seminars or secondments to and from the law firms.
In addition to the above, as a State-owned enterprise Eskom also has to comply with legislation in respect of contracting or appointing service providers from previously disadvantaged communities. To develop and enhance the skills of attorneys from this category, Eskom in conjunction with law firms which have the skills, conduct seminars, accept joint instructions and use secondments to develop the skills of attorneys in this category. The arrangements for joint instructions have to be carefully managed to ensure that costs are contained and that the necessary skills development does occur. To ensure the success of the above, the law firms on the panel must buy in, especially those that have to assist with the skills transfer as this is usually an additional burden they take on in addition to their own in-house development requirements.
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