SA should get to grips with its skills training and retention initiatives if it is to respond adequately to the disruptive effect of the fourth industrial revolution. In the absence of a national platform to equip specialists and the rest of the country with the knowledge needed to confront this mammoth task of preparing for the future world of work, events company Cape Media held a national skills summit in Midrand this week. The company received backing from the Department of Science and Technology, among other governmental and business partners. However, what a brief attendance of the summit revealed was its disconnect from the reality that millions of South Africans live with, along with notions of the ideal country that some of the "experts" who addressed the gathering seemed to imagine SA to be. There was little mention of the fact that most of the country’s workforce is lowly skilled and that any proposed solutions would have to be inclusive enough to create jobs for the 9-mi...

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