The never ending journey of skills development

Henry Ford, American industrialist, the founder of Ford Motor Company emphatically believed in the continuous journey of learning. “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or at eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”

At The Institute of People Development’s (IPD) 2015 Graduation Ceremony held in November, Chief Executive Officer, Mark Orpen, opened the proceedings and welcomed guests, delivering a motivational speech about the never-ending learning journey.

“Today marks the celebration of those that have embarked on a journey to drive excellence in people. We say embarked because this journey is not over – you have reached a milestone, and we are exceedingly proud of you for that – but the destination is still to come and continuous development is the mode of transport.”

Amidst reverberating Drum Tribe entertainment, a few IPD graduates gave their moving testimonials about their own development journeys. According to Level 5 Certificate graduate, Zwelakhe Mbatha; “The fact that I have successfully completed this course will influence my life going forward because at work I can assist with designing and developing material for our providers, identify gaps in training and provide advice to individuals regarding career development.

On a personal level, I acquired the necessary skills to start my own business, enhance my skills development knowledge and assist others. I also learned that the pathway to a successful future and quality life is through education and training. Learning opens up doors and provides access to opportunities.” He concluded his testimonial with a quote by Marc Chernoff; “Don’t expect everyone to understand your journey, especially if they’ve never had to walk your path”.

IPD’s Director, Gizelle McIntyre offered an inspirational graduation address. “I would like to pose the following questions to you today: What sustains you? What puts a smile on your face, fires up your energy and takes your breath away? What really matters deeply to you? It is so easy to be caught up in the ongoing activities and demands of our lives, often forgetting or losing track of what is most meaningful to us. In other words, what is your purpose in life?

She concluded with the simple question; What do you do? “My answer is that I provide people with the opportunity to transcend their lives and careers. In other words, to give people the opportunity to learn the skills to create their own futures and realise that they want more, can be more and are more than they first believed. Research from Yale states that 80 percent of people with good jobs still are not happy with their lives. The 20 percent who are happy have, as a rule, studied for the joy of learning. They do not all have powerful jobs filled with prestige, but fulfilled lives. Do you know what your purpose in life is?”

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