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Trends in training

Training companies get special insight into developing economic trends. In a skills poor setting like South Africa courses with the highest demand give an acute insight into precisely where business feels it is failing or succeeding.

Major nationwide training company, AstroTech which trains high-level employees and professionals assessed which of its more than 60 courses fared best in 2007. The insights show that leadership and management skills are considered in short supply.

Liza van Wyk, CEO of AstroTech and BizTech, its sister company which focuses on administrative support staff said: “There has been a shift from protracted discussions around issues where negotiations skills are necessary to a desire for those who can make fast decisions. Assertiveness is in. Delivery is seen as key to successful economic growth.”

For example, when BizTech, which offers 25 courses first advertised, “Mastering Confidence, Influence and Assertiveness” only nine people attended. But recent enrolments have more than doubled.

In-house courses have surged in popularity as more companies seek to keep staff close at hand while ensuring course participation.

Van Wyk says that they were surprised that a BizTech course on Managing Your Image & Business Etiquette saw lower levels of interest than anticipated, however, their High Performance PAs and Administrators course continues to beat records. Van Wyk says too, that their BizTech course “Becoming the Best Team Secretary/Administrator” has done consistently well.

“A new course AstroTech introduced late in 2007, Advanced Problem Solving sees high demand in terms of in-house requests. Two new sales courses were introduced by AstroTech in 2007 Bridging the Gap; From Technical Person to Successful Sales Person and The Ultimate Sales Manager. Both do very well.

“A new course introduced in 2008 is on Personal Finance. The course assists people to manage their personal finances better and reduce the negative impacts of poor money management on the workplace.” It also reduces workplace fraud. “The need was first brought to us by a large financial institution that was experiencing problems with some staff that at the beginning of the month would buy Prada shoes and Gucci handbags but would not have enough money for taxi-fares to get to work as the month dragged on.”

LIZA VAN WYK, CEO AstroTech   011 453 5291 cell: 082 466 8975 or
Issued by MediaOnLine  011-646 7637