Focused Training Needs For Industries

The National Training and Productivity Centre (NTPC), Department of Executive Management hosted its 4th annual National Trainers Conference (NTC) at the Pearl Resort on June 28-29. It had a corporate
04 Aug 2018 10:00
Focused Training Needs For Industries
Partcipants during the National Training and Productivity Centre’s Department of Executive Management National Trainers Conference on June 29, 2018 at the Pearl Resort. Photo: National Training and Productivity Centre

The National Training and Productivity Centre (NTPC), Department of Executive Management hosted its 4th annual National Trainers Conference (NTC) at the Pearl Resort on June 28-29.

It had a corporate ambience with a blend of pacific creativity to resonate amongst and inspire the best in all participants.



This year’s theme “Focused Training – A Global Scope” captured over 140 senior executives from various organisations and industries around Fiji.

The two-day conference was to understand the importance of tailor- made courses and its relevance in order to compete in the international market.

Ministry of Education director skills training Alumeci Tuisawau officiated at the conference.

She indicated that it is impossible to predict where the world will be in the next 20-30 years.

What we do know is that we need to prepare from today and we do this through learning and development.

In its entirety, the aim of the conference was to challenge the approach delivered by training experts.

Are we capturing the attention of our audience? Is the training too linear?

Do we need to incorporate interactive methods to entice the participants and is the training generating an impact at the work place?

When we say “world class service”, are we really equipped to deliver this in our particular industries?

Is our training approach becoming too generic, confined and theoretical?

These were some of the questions that were answered by the seven local and international guest speakers at NTC.


Guest speakers

CJ Patel & Company group general manager Paul Barret, highlighted at the conference that organisational complexities will creep up due to globalisation, technological advancements and the diverse age range.

The hunt for talented and skilled personnel is also a difficult task faced by organisational heads.

Therefore, training is the most effective method for future progression.



The importance of on-the-job training was re-validated by Founder and Director at Learn Fast Pacific Warwick McComak.

He emphasised that with the abundance of knowledge a seasoned staff has, this must be transferrable to new employees, which in-turn defines and sets the platform for succession planning.

Skills training and development is an essential part for all leaders at work.

And of course, there needs to be a measure of training and this is done during the post evaluation process.

Over the years of industry revolution, our focus has primarily been target driven and profit generating.


Soft skills

However, it must be noted that without the human personnel’s achieving these goals will be near impossible.

Soft skills such as mentoring, coaching, support and acknowledgement gives that mileage to employees to give their best.

Meanwhile, the need to constructively nurture and develop soft skills training was also stressed at the conference by Beth Sketcher, a consultant for Talegent New Zealand.

In organisations, it can be experienced that an individual’s creative brain functions lie dormant, hence, right training is required to stimulate performance.

The emphasis on the Attention, Relevance, Confidence and Satisfaction (ARCS) model by Ms Sketcher provided an insight to participating training experts at NTC on the need to enhance soft skills trainings.

This would include communication skills and people skills, and add to the intrinsic value of employees at all levels of work.



In addition to the ARCS model presentation, well-known writer Mayur Kalbag challenged the participants to inspire creativity.

He asked them to become more interactive and passionate about training as it has a direct impact on an organisational performance.

He captured the participants with the experience he shared with an indigenous tribe and capitulated that yesterday’s methods must not be used for tomorrow’s business.

With India being the hub for many back office operations in the world, quality is maintained through regular training and support given by the seniors.

With the rise of numerous back office operations emerging in Fiji, we should balance the right amount of training received via online as compared to face-to-face.

There are many skills that need human interaction and in the future this will give our locals the edge to compete in the international market.


Natural upskilling

Another iconic presenter at NTC and who has featured on the international talk show TED on numerous occasions was Director of La Salle Matrix Thinking, Australia Roger La Salle.

“Fiji, as an emerging nation has made huge and ever increasing gains over recent years.

“Naturally upskilling and training is an essential ingredient in this national development” said Mr La Salle.

Throughout his long journey he has witnessed many approaches to training.

However, it is important to evolve our training methods and approaches with the changing characteristics and behavior of our audience, who have evolved from one generation to the next.

The best workable way is the one that creates an impact.



Health issues at workplace was also a highpoint at the conference by fitness expert and Director of FIT College in Australia Mark Stitt.

He has more than 30 years of experience in the fitness industry.

It was highlighted that over $300m (FJ$463 million) was spent annually in Australia as a cause of work stress and sickness.

Presentism, which is attending work while stressed, tired, run down or sick, are additional issues.

Productivity is more important than number of hours at work.

Thus, it is equally important for a trainer to maintain their health in order to resonate a positive aura of confidence in delivery.

“Your health is the pathway to productivity and success,” Mr Stitt had stressed to NTC participants, and indeed it is.


Motivation and mentoring

The conference would not have been complete without motivating and mentoring millennials into becoming future leaders in the industry.

And the spotlight on this was provided by Regional chief executive officer of Asco Motors Craig Sims.

He presented that given the diverse generations at the workplace, the organisation culture needs to be strong to support training and development.

He stressed the need for industry to understand and involve all generations with the right balance of technology.

During the two-day event, the NTPC also had the launch of the Talegent Psychometric software.

It is now available through the Department of Executive Management.

This software is a way to accessing the candidate’s personality, cognitive ability and soft skills, pre and post-employment.

It has many tests for a vast array of job roles giving specialised reports against the pool of participants.

The software has quickly become the highlight for many HR professionals as it mathematically gives an insight into the candidates thought process and mainly due to it being un-biased.


In-house training

Moving forward from this conference, many employers have contacted the Department of Executive Management to carry out in-house short courses to upskill their employees.

This is testimony of the fact that employers understand that NTPC industry-based courses are relevant and vital for employee career succession planning.

There are days when we as industry practitioners find ourselves in scenarios that are unfamiliar and this causes us to act in a reactive manner.

However, as a pro-active scholar one will equip themselves with the tools to combat the future.

The National Training and Productivity Centre will remain committed towards carrying out researches, transforming them into quality, relevant courses to upskill human resource for the future industry needs of Fiji.



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