Shorter, more impactful and affordable the new trend

Shorter, but more impactful courses at a lower cost are the current demand from industry, according to Juliette Fourie, CEO and founder of Metro Minds.  Another growing trend is simulation, offering employers the opportunity to ensure learners are ready to hit the ground running on completion of training.

“We have recognised that not everyone wants formal courses,” said Fourie. “The focus at present is definitely on shorter courses and lower cost. The courses, however, have to be extremely impactful. With this in mind, we have developed a non-accredited fully online platform, called Smart Minds. The courses range from human skills to technical and life skills. We have a large focus on shorter courses for logistics, supply chain and freight forwarding at a maximum price of R499 per course.”

She said this was an exciting development as it allowed training to reach far more people than would previously have been the case. From a company point of view, the training is also more cost-effective. These are important developments in the current economic environment. “Simulation courses are another huge focus point, especially for new industry entrants. It works very well for existing employees needing continuous development as well. The simulated courses are extremely practical and are based on the cognitive flexibility theory of accelerated learning. Five days spent with a simulated course is equivalent to 25 days of practical work experience,” she said.

According to Fourie, taking an integrated approach to training is essential for companies to measure the correct skills improvement. “What does talent look like? Are you using a benchmark per job function?” she explained. “Start to build the ideal talent pipeline through skills projects that could give your business a competitive edge as well as receive all your directives. This way you build a skilled workforce with talent being nurtured through coaching and mentoring and cultivating leaders for the business.” Gone are the days of one size fits all.

“The Fifth Industrial Revolution (5IR) is defined as the combination of human engagement at the centre of drawing humans, machines, artificial intelligence, and technology together. The 5IR follows the 4IR, driven by key technology impacting governments, businesses, and society at large. Humans should be front and centre of connecting critical thinking, creativity, and technology. When we as educators are asked to train people, it should be driven by the business with purpose, not compliance.”

Fourie said managing human capital in business required an integrative approach between executive strategies, workforce strategies and human resource strategies. Recent reports from the Teta indicated the shortage of skilled workers was due to the increasing use of technology and automation within the transport sector, affecting many jobs at many levels. The workforce needed modern skills like digital literacy, logistics operations, and skilled people to manage customers’ operations and service delivery.

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