Mark Orpen

In the modern workplace, filled with distractions and illusions of grandeur, it can be an overwhelming task to maintain motivation, and drive a workforce to deliver productivity. To achieve this, 21st century managers should focus on two elements; getting people to work, and making work for people.

The managerial ladder is often built with rungs that depend on technical expertise. If an employee proves that they have the skills to perform the business tasks required of their position, they are promoted to the next rung.

Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying; “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

The first quarter of 2016 is complete. The finance speech has been delivered, and most companies have begun re-evaluating their budgets for the next financial year

A global survey of more than 1 300 CEOs revealed that the availability of key skills is the second-biggest threat to business growth, close behind the increasing tax burden

Learning and development goes further than trainers and HR, as it benefits a variety of business operations.

The Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process is designed to expedite the journey to a qualification, without compromising on quality.

In an economy where only 3.6% of entrepreneurial businesses succeed, it is essential to ensure that everything is being done to facilitate prosperity.

South Africa is faced with a skills shortage in most industries. Integrated
assessments can have a huge impact on the efficiency in the transfer
of skill and could assist in solving the South African skills development

The national plan for higher education in South Africa is to increase
participation to 20%, hinting to the fact that at least 80% of the youth
the ages of 18 and 24 years old do not have access to tertiary education at

Research entails much more than retrieving information and writing a report. When following a proper research procedure, information collected will assist in justifying decisions and proposals, add value and create solutions to specific problems, writes Mark Orpen.

Company 'good practices' are often presented as Codes of Good Practice, Employee Guidelines, Manuals or Working Procedures. Mark Orpen describes how good practice can enhance company competition and performance simply by assessing and raising the bar.

Increasing the number of skilled South Africans requires skilled education
and training practitioners to deliver the training and conduct assessments.
But do we have enough trained trainers? IPD's Mark Orpen tells us that his
company is working with the ETDP Seta to conduct an industry-wide gap

The current view in management thinking across the world is that skills development should be better integrated with line management, and that skills development practitioners should play a more strategic role within workplaces.

There are more than 120 000 people in South Africa who could be considered education and training practitioners, says Mark Orpen, and best practice can vary depending on the needs of the specific sector. "ETD Practitioners will need to rapidly gain a deeper knowledge of the range of philosophies, theories and practices that inform their workplace context," explains Orpen.

Since 2000 the National Sills Development Strategy has gathered R42 billion in skills development levies to be allocated for training projects. Yet there are only 98 education and training practices (ETD) professionals registered up to NQF level 5. A new initiative is attempting to address this shortage.

Building capacity and leadership of professional trainers has been grossly neglected over the past decade, and unfortunately to the detriment of many sectoral training and development projects," writes Mark Orpen, CEO of the Institute of People Development. He proposes the Occupationally-directed ETD Practices (OD-ETDP) Diploma and Certificate as a means to ensure competent trainers.

Is the money spent on training worth it? This is a key question that most organisations struggle with because levies are paid and training budgets are used, but does the training provider deliver? The Institute of People Development's Mark Orpen has some answers.

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