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Comprehensive development of skills

Effective skills training is an essential component of developing comprehensive implementation capability in every infrastructure sector. It is a vital building block in the professional competence pyramid of any organisation.

Successful organisations realise that skills training is not isolated from the development of managerial and technical competence at higher levels of the organisation. Productivity and efficiency result from a seamless integration of competence at all levels of the organisation.

Vertical integration of skills and competence

It is vital for every organisation to have a coordinated programme of skills and competence training running through all the levels of the organisation. Those responsible for management and technical competence training at higher levels of the organisation must be fully aware of the skills training programmes at the lower levels of the organisation. Conversely, skills development programmes must take into account the competence structures required in the whole organisation and facilitate a progression through the organisation for the more talented and resourceful members of the workforce. Such strategies help to promote the full development of the human creative resources of an organisation.

International standards and best practice

Effective skills training draws on the best resources of curriculum, expertise and skills development frameworks from around the world. Good examples are found in the City & Guilds framework in the UK and the Australian vocational training framework.

Effective skills training should provide an alternative to the higher education route for managers and technical experts in a sector. There are well-established models for such structures. These involve trainees working through the various standard levels of skills competence (Levels 2, 3, 4 and 5) through which they can gain qualifications at Level 6 and above, which correspond to higher education qualifications.

The CIP model for skills training

CIP has developed and implements a thorough and comprehensive model for skills training in an organisation with the following components:

  • Define the vertical integration necessary in the sector
  • Use both top-down and bottom-up evaluation to determine the skills sets required at every level of the organisation
  • Introduce best practice in skills training from internationally-experienced organisations such as City & Guilds in the UK
  • Look at future trends and needs in the sector and in infrastructure development in the country
  • Integrate trainer training into the model for skills development
  • Work with sector skills councils, industry training centres and other bodies in the country in order to optimise skills training and to maximise outreach
  • Provide opportunities for upward mobility of talented young men and women to rise to positions of higher competence and responsibility