Training must focus on productivity as this is where Australia’s competitiveness lies, as we want to retain our high wage-earning economy. Our service and manufacturing will only attract investment if we increase our productivity.
We need a practical strategy to enable growth and diversity in our engagement’. This includes ‘Access to skilled labour through effective training and workforce development in combination with flexible and responsive skilled migration policies’. Also, regulations must be properly developed with regulatory impacts considered
Tony Shepherd, Sydney Morning Herald, Business Day, 19 June, 2012, p.8.
Determine Parameters of the learning strategy
The leader responsible for planning training programs and professional development within an organization, and developing appropriate learning strategies, needs to clarify the purpose of the learning strategy, and clearly define the target groups and their learning needs. Innovation and change come from learning.
Learning is associated with study to some people – leading to qualifications, whilst to others it means training. But as we know, it comes largely from experience and experimentation (Mayo 2006, p.195).
A learning organisation manages learning in a deliberate and systematic way. It is not something which merely happens, but rather something which is managed (Mayo 2006).
When designing and developing learning strategies:
Clarify the purpose of the learning strategy, the target groups and their needs (based on the Needs Analysis).
Research qualifications or benchmark options for meeting target group needs and select the most appropriate option.
Consult with the relevant people to confirm the parameters of the learning strategy.
Be aware of prior learning, and also challenge the adequacy of the learner’s prior knowledge (which can cause some conceptual conflict [Killen 2009, p.9])
Consider a range of strategies, and understand some of the theory and research for effective training. The theory of learning is linked to the concept of understanding, for which there are different types. Understanding can be defined on three levels: basic meaning, what learners are doing makes sense, and learners can apply the strategies (Davis, 1986 in Killen 2009, p.12) i.e. ‘when we understand something, we not only possess certain knowledge about it but are enabled to do certain things with that knowledge’ (Perkins 1992 in Killen 2009, p.12)
Devise the content and structure of the learning strategy
The content of the learning strategy will depend on the outcomes of the needs or gap analysis. In a gap analysis the current situation is assessed (where are we now?) and the desired situation (where do we want to be?). A plan is then drawn up to bridge the gap (How will we get there?).
Decisions must ensure that actions, processes and expenditures will close the gap (Green 2005, p.120). Its structure will depend on the type of learning required. Within that structure e.g. a learning qualification provided by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO), or an in-house training program; various approaches can be used to achieve the objectives of the strategy. There may be phases over a period of time.