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#BizTrends2018: Landscapes, learning and the employee

Kicking off 2018, the priority for the Education and Training (ETD) and Management Training calendar is planning for the coming year ahead. With strategic focus on industry trends, the approach to learning, building curricula and delivering facilitation must be adjusted accordingly.
Mark Orpen
In the Learning and Development field there are three key areas to review when considering upcoming trends. These are: the changing governmental and institutional landscapes; learning provision; and the employee.

The Changing Governmental and Institutional Landscapes

Fees must fall

In 2016, the #FeesMustFall crisis severely affected many learning institutions, colleges and universities across the country. Government has been put under pressure to find a way to deliver more affordable tertiary education. Although it is now almost two years later, no viable solution has been found. As universities prepare to announce 2018 price increases, it would be prudent to prepare for another wave of protests. Training managerial staff in the management of these situations is critical.

Although the African National Congress’ Secretary General, Gwede Mantashe, announced that the party wants government to provide free tertiary education to poor students in the 2018 academic year, this is certainly not currently a reality. It is safe to assume that the protests may continue into the foreseeable future; there’s no reason not to be prepared.

QCTO - new regulations, ETQA no longer providing accreditation

According to the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO), the Education and Training Quality Assurance (ETQA) bodies will no longer offer accreditation to any L&D provider for single unit standards or skills programmes. This change will come into effect as of 31 March 2018. Effectively this means that if any training provider wishes to be accredited for any unit standard or skills programme, whether new accreditation or extension of scope, it must be done by 31 March 2018. It is essential that institutions seek the assistance of specialists in L&D and ETQA to achieve accreditation prior to the commencement date.

Learning provision

Technological advances

In a constantly modernising world, technology is becoming the new norm in learning provision and the delivery of facilitation. If education and training providers are to remain relevant in the eyes of their learners, they must make a concerted effort to teach them in the mediums that they understand. E-learning platforms are becoming crucial components in learning and development. Gamification, online platforms, video-based and adaptive learning, and personalised training are elements that are increasingly seen as integral e-learning components, rather than fancy perks. For this to be successful, facilitators, coaches and mentors must maintain expert knowledge of these learning tools. Institutions that fail to embrace the era of digitisation will, unfortunately, be left behind.

The employee

Work readiness and multi-generational issues

To function effectively in the workplace, candidates require much more than theoretical knowledge of the technical requirements of their position. For this reason, a growing trend includes a focus on work readiness and workplace integrated learning. Through the facilitation of real soft skills, internship programmes and holistic L&D, first time employees are empowered to enter the workplace with the skills and confidence that will assist them in growing a long-lasting, successful career.

In 2018, a new generation will enter the workplace. As integration begins, employees will need the skills to manage change, communicate effectively and deal with conflict in a constructive manner. All of these skills form part of work readiness, management training and effective mentorship.
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About Mark Orpen

With an undying entrepreneurial spirit, Mark Orpen founded IPD in 2000. His main area of operation is currently governance, while his primary responsibilities include governance, finance, strategy and marketing. Having completed a National Diploma in Marketing and Sales, another in Learning and Development and a National Higher Certificate in Occupationally-Directed Education, Training and Development Practices, Orpen has all the skills necessary to execute his duties as CEO of IPD.