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Paving the Future: Henley Business School's Crusade for Skills Development in SA

Published February 28, 2024
4 months ago

In an era where artificial intelligence (AI) stands poised to redefine the workforce, the urgency to democratize skills development cannot be overstated. South Africa faces a pivotal moment in its economic narrative, with a pressing need to revamp its inefficient system of talent extraction. As Henley Business School Africa's Jon Foster-Pedley starkly observes, only a dismal 6% of South African students obtain degrees within six years of leaving school—a figure significantly overshadowed by the 50% and 55% benchmarks set by the UK and Finland respectively.

The disproportionate focus on a minuscule pool of skilled resources, while leaving the majority unfostered, has dire consequences. Henley Business School Africa recognizes this gap and is acting fast to bridge it with its bespoke post-experience qualification stairway in Management Practice. Ranging from post-matric to master's level, these stackable qualifications crafted on both Johannesburg and Cape Town campuses, are flexible, pragmatic, and especially attuned to thrust South Africans into managerial excellence.

What makes Henley's programs especially cutting-edge is their emphasis on the human elements that AI cannot replicate. Critical thinking, problem-solving, empathy, and innovative thought form the crux of what future-proofs a career. According to Foster-Pedley, most people are unaware of the extent of their innate skill sets. Henley's programs are thus designed to illuminate this 'invisible competence', instilling not only skill but confidence and credibility in the workplace.

The School’s vision surpasses simple economic augmentation—it’s about equipping individuals to synchronously step with an ever-evolving future. By highlighting the continuous learning paradigm, Foster-Pedley addresses the necessity to keep pace with generative AI that is reshaping the workplace. The acknowledgment from career coaches Helen Tupper and Sarah Ellis that learning itself has become integral to job performance underscores this imperative for adaptability.

Henley's mission is to make quality education accessible – a true form of democratisation that empowers and liberates far beyond wealth. Foster-Pedley's vision is one where individuals can harmoniously "dance with the future." As South Africa holds immense raw intelligence and talent, the focal point now is to avoid its squandering.

Henley Business School Africa stands at the forefront in this pursuit, offering dynamic programs that pledge more than just theoretical knowledge—they promise a transformative journey of self-discovery and growth, potent enough to impact both personal careers and the companies they serve.

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