Con­tent, train­ers and trainees must be in sync

New Straits Times - - Opinion -

DU­RA­TION of cour­ses can range from a day to over a year. They are not ef­fec­tive if or­gan­is­ers, train­ers or par­tic­i­pants have a poor un­der­stand­ing of what con­sti­tutes train­ing.

Many brief­ing ses­sions are dubbed train­ing, with speak­ers pre­sent­ing large amount of in­for­ma­tion, which the au­di­ence may not fully un­der­stand or can­not re­mem­ber to ap­ply.

Brief­ings are suit­able for in­dus­try sem­i­nars, where par­tic­i­pants are only in­ter­ested in know­ing what is use­ful for them.

On the other hand, train­ing is an or­gan­ised process for trainees to ac­quire the cor­rect at­ti­tude, skills and knowl­edge needed to per­form a task or job to the re­quired stan­dard.

As such, trainees must demon­strate pro­fi­cien­cies be­fore be­ing awarded a cer­tifi­cate for their com­pe­ten­cies, and not just for at­ten­dance.

Ev­ery­one needs train­ing to per­form at a higher level or keep abreast of the lat­est de­vel­op­ments, but those who need train­ing the most are the ones least in­ter­ested.

Sadly, train­ing and a learn­ing cul­ture are grossly lack­ing in our so­ci­ety. Grad­u­ates may have ob­tained a di­ploma or de­gree, but few learnt enough to per­form well at work.

Many par­ents in­vest huge sums of money in their chil­dren’s ed­u­ca­tion but most grad­u­ates will not spend their own money to equip them­selves with the skills and knowl­edge needed to se­cure bet­ter jobs.

It is also dif­fi­cult to train Gen Y (born 1995 or ear­lier) and Gen Z (born 1996 or later), and it will be a dou­ble whammy train­ing them for a ca­reer in the travel in­dus­try, for ex­am­ple, as most have a poor grasp of English, the universal tourism lan­guage.

They may be so­cial me­dia savvy, ex­posed to English on­line and con­sume tonnes of in­for­ma­tion daily. But, this is all su­per­fi­cial knowl­edge, as they can­not de­scribe the con­tents clearly.

Train­ers could eas­ily be led to be­lieve they have un­der­stood what was ex­plained to them, but when tested, they will re­peat mis­takes.

To en­sure that learn­ing takes place, train­ing should be bro­ken up into bite-size pieces.

Writ­ten an­swers can be dis­cussed with the class for group learn­ing.

A step-by-step ap­proach is nec­es­sary for ap­pren­tices to reach a cer­tain level of com­pe­tency.

It is dif­fer­ent from aca­demic pro­grammes in which stu­dents are fed with ready an­swers, with many com­plet­ing their as­sign­ments through the cut-and-paste method.

Many stu­dents and trainees do not bother to go through the learn­ing process, think­ing that knowl­edge can eas­ily be ob­tained by click­ing a few but­tons, with­out re­al­is­ing that com­mon in­for­ma­tion has lit­tle value.

It is no sur­prise that many grad­u­ates can­not de­fine tourism in a mean­ing­ful man­ner, al­though they may have spent a few years study­ing it.

In­stead of ask­ing ap­pren­tices to find ready an­swers, it will be more ben­e­fi­cial to in­volve them in a project, such as pre­par­ing an itin­er­ary for an imag­i­nary tourist.

With much guid­ance, a group of ap­pren­tices man­aged to pre­pare a de­tailed tour pro­gramme but when asked, none could de­scribe what an itin­er­ary is.

For train­ing to be ef­fec­tive, the course con­tent, train­ers and trainees must be in sync.

C.Y. MING, Am­pang, Se­lan­gor

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