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        Press Release

Clamour for mid level skills training sees new business launched

… team leaders, supervisors, administrators and personal assistants demand skills upgrading to cope with globalization

29 November 2006
Issued by WriteMagic:

Although top training organisation AstroTech has experienced a doubling of demand for executive and managerial courses in the past year – the demand for mid-level skills training will see them launch a new business, BizTech in 2007.

Speaking at the annual AstroTech client function, CEO Liza van Wyk said, “at AstroTech we are experiencing an almost doubling of course attendees and to maintain this we have been consistently revamping, honing and expanding our course offerings.

“While traditionally in AstroTech we have focused on targeting our courses at management and professionals, in the past year we have experienced a clamour for courses that address team leaders, supervisors, administrators and personal assistants. One of our new courses introduced in 2006 for High Performance PAs and Administrators proved to be our most popular course this year consistently achieving three times the interest in our other courses.”

She said that new management failures may have as much to do with inadequately trained support staff, as it does with the new manager. She said this would see them launch a new company, Biz Tech early next year to cater for the demand for mid-level practical skills based courses. Van Wyk said: “BizTech recognizes that if a senior manager or executive does not have excellent support staff and teams, he or she cannot succeed. And so the new range of courses for this business address skills deficiencies in existing support and administrative staff, as well as helping supervisors and graduates first entering the workplace to cope with a rapidly changing globalised work environment.”

She said particular attention was being paid to course design, realizing that a good deal of training expenditure was being wasted by companies. She quoted education minister, Naledi Pandor who when introducing the Further Education and Training Colleges Bill earlier this month, observed that “We are all doing training but somehow the trainees are not responding to economic demand.”

Van Wyk said: “At AstroTech we design courses that boost the skills and knowledge levels of those at senior to middle executive level, we know that if courses do not respond to economic demand it is time and money wasted for you and us. We believe the rapid growth in our business shows that we are appropriately meeting the demands for quality that today’s business managers and professionals expect.

“BizTech, the new company, aims to pick up on the sentiment expressed by the Minister as well as the demand that we have ourselves noticed in the workplace.”

Van Wyk noted that at the recent Economist Magazine Round Table in South Africa, deputy president Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka told delegates that last year South Africa's Gross Domestic Product grew at 4,9 percent and that since 2004 South Africa has created more than a million new jobs with average wealth per person rising at around three percent a year in South Africa.

“Those figures show us that the need for training is significant. The deputy president told the Economist Roundtable that South Africa, “will reduce unemployment to 15 percent or lower by 2014.” That is an incredible goal and what it means from each of us is deeper commitment to excellence in the workplace, to ongoing training and skills development, to the creation of an environment where each South African can become more than he or she ever dreamed they could be.”

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