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        Press Release

Top training organisation AstroTech extends its reach and expands training programme

… South Africa’s skills shortage sees rapidly growing demand for better skills for middle managers, administrators and supervisors & more in-house courses – but getting the right trainers is a challenge

AstroTech, one of South Africa’s fastest growing training organisations will this year expand its base beyond Gauteng and offer courses in Durban and Cape Town.
It will also open a sister company, BizTech that will offer training to middle managers, administrators and supervisors – but finding good trainers is becoming a challenge.

Liza van Wyk, AstroTech CEO said: “Last year, as an experiment we offered a course to High Powered Personal Assistants and Administrators and were swamped with applicants. It became our top selling course.  We realized that there was a significant need from aspirational middle level employees.”  AstroTech’s courses are usually targeted at executives or those well on their way up the career ladder as well as information technology specialists.

She said that they also saw the demand for in-house courses more than doubling. “Companies are very concerned about the skills shortage and the amount of time and money they spend on sending specialists, managers and executives on courses. More and more are requesting tailor made courses so that an entire office or division or layer of managers can benefit from enhanced training and be within the work environment where they can more readily access practical examples, but also be able to respond to any crisis or deal with emails and phone calls during their lunch or tea break.”

Because of dramatically increasing training demands AstroTech, which offered a few courses in Cape Town last year, has increased its portfolio of courses for Cape Town and will offer some too in Durban this year.

“But getting the right trainers is a challenge,” Van Wyk said.  “We are continually seeking new trainers and have a constant stream of applicants, but getting the right individual for the job is difficult.  We have a very successful Occupational Health and Safety Course as an example, and recently one trainer, who is a top lawyer was unable to attend on a given day.  We sifted through a considerable batch of applications but the quality was not high enough, the best applicant we had was a health and safety officer at a power station, but we need better qualified individuals than that.”

Many of AstroTech’s trainers are lawyers, accountants, top business executives, professors and other academics.  All have had extensive personal experience in the field in which they teach.  Van Wyk said a trainer could earn anything from R3 000 to R6 000 a day.

In March, BizTech, AstroTech’s sister company will be launched. It will focus on training and skilling new graduates entering the corporate sector, administrators, supervisors and middle managers.

“There has been a strong emphasis on improving the capacity for those entering executive and upper management positions, or those in lower ranking often technical positions, but everyone has forgotten the middle level and new graduates who often battle to apply theoretical knowledge learnt at university to practical situations.  These are the staff who have to support new managers and executives entering companies, many of whom also have skills deficits, for the economy to really boom, we need to strengthen employee capacity at all levels, but particularly at the core, or middle level of an organisation,” Van Wyk said.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Contact Liza Van Wyk, CEO AstroTech at  011 453 5291 or liza@astrotech.co.za.  Website www.AstroTech.co.za or www.biztech.co.za