Sharpening of skills

Maryanne Maina

Maryanne Maina

Mandy Venter is the chief executive of the Institute of Performance Technology, a broad-based BEE company that provides human resources-related services to corporate customers.

"We are able to test one's skills against the required qualification through a set of duties stated by the company. If the candidate succeeds, he or she receives the relevant qualification," she said.

"It is important for employers to re-invest in their employees and provide growth opportunities for them. This ensures the customer gets better value and service and this applies to various industries," said Venter.

Her organisation has been of great value to the cleaning industry, contact centres as well as the financial sector.

Venter has a background in human resources after working in the corporate sector for at least 17 years at various companies such as BMW, the Automobile Association and National Brands.

Institute of Performance Technology grew due to the fact that many South Africans are working without the proper educational qualifications.

She said the government has been putting a large effort into attracting foreign direct investment from various countries, hence the need for people to improve their skills in preparing to deliver better services and goods.

"The contact centre has grown greatly as more people acquired qualifications. This industry is growing very fast," she said.

Their 30 clients include Santam, Absa and Gauteng Shared Services centre.

"Starting this organisation was a challenge, but after a while we attained a 97percent success growth rate as more people received their qualifications," she said.

In the beginning, the company had only two employees. Their main purpose was to focus on understanding of and implementation of the expertise of the SITA framework.

They now have a staff of 40 people based in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.

Venter ensures that she is up to date with the latest changes in labour legislation and other laws and regulations that may affect her work.

"Understanding the client is essential as they also keep you updated through sharing of information. So, if you have good client service skills you are guaranteed to know what is new and going on in the field," said Venter.

"We focus largely on providing a good quality service so it is essential to read widely on quality management. Also, being an industry about people, networking is crucial as you share information on a large scale.

Venter is a member of various organisations that provide information on the industry and how to improve it.

Her company recently won regional and national awards.

"This proves that our service adds value to society through skills improvement of individuals for their organisations," she said.