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Employee participation in training and development at a selected municipality in the Western Cape, South Africa
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The study focuses on Human Resource Development through employee training and development practices. This research sheds light on the relationship between employee training practices and employee development, with specific emphasis on employee performance and job satisfaction. The purpose of training and development programmes is to improve employee competence and organisational performance. A number of employees are perceived to be reluctant to attend training and development opportunities and do not want to develop themselves. The objectives of the research were to investigate employee training and development practices followed at a selected municipality in the Western Cape in South Africa and to explore and understand the dimensions of employee training and job satisfaction. It was anticipated that this would give an indication of the various training and development programme types, as well as its benefits, offered to municipal employees of the selected municipality. It also focuses on employees’ expectations and involvement in such types of training programmes. The aim of the study is to analyse the implementation of training and development intervention practices of a selected municipality as well as its impact on the perceptions about employees who do not want to attend training and development interventions organised which, in the long run, will lead to job performance improvement and job satisfaction. An investment in training activities is returned in the form of retaining more productive and effective employees. Training and development intervention programmes may focus on individual or team performance. It is observed that municipalities following systematic and scientific training and development practices create high job satisfaction levels amongst employees. In contrast, municipalities who do not put training interventions in place to make sure employees are given opportunities to undergo training and development, do not perform well, and usually receive disqualified audit statuses and experience community protests for lack of service delivery. Municipal employees who attend training and development programmes are more committed towards better performance – results show positive outcomes. The development and implementation of training interventions should be based on needs analyses. Information obtained could be useful for the improvement of training and development practices in all departments. Factors affecting the effectiveness of training and development intervention practices in municipalities include lack of support from top management and peers, employees’ individual attitudes, job-related factors and deficiencies in training practices. In an era where Government struggles to address community’s crisis, public service employees should be managed efficiently and effectively by implementing systematic training and development intervention programmes in order to enhance job performance and understanding of job criteria. This will ensure effective transmission of basic services to communities. There is an urgent need to reshape training and development interventions in order for Government to provide advancement possibilities in Local Government and for departments to be centres of excellence. Government departments should design training policies that resonate with communities’ needs and develop guiding documents that are understandable and implementable. Departments also need to review training budgets and the relevance of training programmes. In addition, the training opportunities provided should be accredited and recognised to afford workers opportunities for growth and promotion as well as to gain a qualification that will give them access to obtaining a formal qualification.