Sassda has several stainless steel focused courses that are targeted at various levels of a company’s employee complement. Here Sassda Training Manager Mankabe More unpacks the realities of modern day training and how Sassda is meeting these needs in an expert and innovative manner by embracing the concept of continuous training and the use of digital technologies that have made the association’s world-class courses far more accessible and cost effective.
Now, more than ever, learning and development are a top priority within the business environment, with a reported 27% of global organisations allocating budget increases towards their development initiatives. This isn’t surprising given that in the case of Sassda, for example, a relevant course allows the employer to bridge the skills gap so that employees can perform at their top capability.
That said, it’s important to understand that Employee training and development are terms that are often used interchangeably, across sectors, and encompass various employee learning practices. Training involves programmes which enable employees to learn precise skills or knowledge to improve performance while development programmes, involve a more expansive employee growth plan, for future performance rather than immediate career role improvement.
A worthwhile investment
To this end, training presents an opportunity to expand the knowledge base of all employees, but many organisations find these development opportunities expensive. Employees are also regarded as non-productive while attending training sessions. Contrary to these misperceptions, training and development provide the company and individual employees with benefits that make the required cost and time a worthwhile investment.
This stems from the fact that most employees enter the workplace with no or limited experience or knowledge about stainless steel as a material of construction. These shortcomings will inevitably affect their efficiency and effectiveness in the workplace.
A development program provides employees with skills sets they require at a higher level of understanding, that benefits a company and its employee, as it improves their cognitive, analytical and behavioural skills.
One of a kind courses
Against this backdrop, Sassda’s focused courses are progressive as they increase employees’ stainless steel knowledge and are relevant for their current and future career path. They also improve employee wellbeing and positivity towards their employer. Their perception is if the company where they work, creates a supportive workplace by investing in training, it values them. This is a huge motivator for them to be loyal and improve performance, etc. As a result, employees with access to training and development programs definitely have an advantage over untrained employees in other companies. In fact, studies show that companies that have actively interested and dedicated employees training programmes see 41% lower absenteeism rates, and 17% higher productivity levels.
Retention is also a major challenge to employers and the misperception is that once an employee is trained, they will be poached by the competition. However, the same argument can be used in reverse, as the company can also attract and retain talent because of the same programmes. Research shows that businesses with an engaged workforce achieve a 59% lower staff turnover rate
A company’s long term strategies should therefore highlight what skills are needed to take it to where it should be. Aligning the programmes to a clear business strategy will allow the company to be better prepared for changes in the external and internal environment, adapt quickly and even initiate these changes in the environment.
A future-orientated approach
Looking to the future, companies cannot afford to be stagnant and must constantly evolve to remain relevant, efficient and competitive. Sassda is therefore cognisant of the impact of technology on the learning space and has reported on the opportunities within the 4th Industrial Revolution and how it might impact on individual businesses and the national economy.
This stems from our understanding that as new markets emerge, so will new technologies. This is in line with Sassda’s aim of shrinking its carbon footprint by endeavouring to make all educational products as paperless as possible, through the use of technology and innovative platforms for training.
Sassda’s educational products have therefore evolved during the past few years to cater for virtually all industry requirements in terms of stainless steel. Courses range from an introductory level targeted at new entrants into the industry such as online introduction to stainless steel course, fabrication and warehouse course and webinars.
Our intermediate courses focus on a more professional person and we offer fundamentals of stainless steel course as well as end user specific courses and finally our advanced course which includes in-depth metallurgy, fabrication and welding followed by a visit to Columbus Stainless mill in Middleburg to experience the manufacturing of stainless steel.
Overall, it’s clear that recognising new skills and different ways of learning will help companies evolve and innovate for the future. Merging contemporary technological platforms with creative learning methods will ensure that teams learn dynamically, through a future-oriented approach and have a profound impact on education and development in South Africa and our own stainless steel sector.