Co-operatives have proven over the years to be an effective business model towards creating jobs, economic gains and social upliftment. Various successful co-operatives exists worldwide, while the South African history also includes examples of strong co-operative activity, especially in the agricultural and services sectors. Sadly, the survival rate of co-operatives is extremely low, and mostly as result of lack of access to resources, poor or lacking business management skills and the inability to manage the co-operative specific relationship between members.
This article seeks to explore the results of the analyses of the current levels and future skills needs of established and emergent co-operatives within the South African economy, as well as the content and success of training initiatives as supported by Sector Training Authorities in South Africa.
Underpinned by a critical interpretive approach, an extensive analysis of existing literature of international and South African publications on co-operatives as an economic entity, publications provided valuable insights into the current status of co-operative skills and performance. The findings culminated in concepts to be considered when designing a co-operative specific training approach or initiative.