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Training and skills development

International learning and development trends identified at the International ASTD Conference

As South African Learning and Development Practitioners, we sometimes feel that other countries are streets ahead of us. After I attended the 2012 American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) conference in Denver Colorado, I can confirm that this is not the case. World-wide everyone seems to be grappling with the same issues.

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How the economy helped us to train smarter

Mpho has nearly chewed her pen to a stub this morning. As the Training Manager for a large corporation in South Africa, she has to finalise the training budget for the third time this month. Finance returned the budget each time with the request to cut it more. In terms of Skills Development legislation, as well as the BEE requirements for the organisation, she has to juggle many priorities and train the requisite numbers of employees in different categories. At the same time employee engagement is important and employees expect to get developmental opportunities.

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Informal learning - should it be formalised?

Josh Bersin from the leading talent research company, Bersin and Associates, predicted that in 2012 organisations would continue to redesign their learning and development programmes to be social, informal and on-demand. This trend can be ascribed to the increasing availability of technology to facilitate this type of learning, but could also be linked to the whole concept of personalised learning.

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Training professionals - collaborative development centre

We all know that training is important, but we seldom give training enough attention. However, when things go wrong on the job, lack of training sometimes becomes the scapegoat. In this case study, the training department was blamed for most things that went wrong on the job, even when this was not the case. The company decided to "grab the bull by the horns" and get their house in order anyway.

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How can South Africa cope with the skills shortage?


The issue that many companies are confronted with today is how to handle the skills shortage in South Africa. The following article will consider new ways of coping with the skills shortage through learning and developing people. South Africa is facing a huge skills shortage and has a substantial unemployment problem dating back from the Apartheid era. Human Resources policies offer many solutions to these economic and social problems.

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