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Business skills shortage addressed with Learning programmes

NZ’s business skills shortage addressed with innovative Learning and Development programmes

November 14, 2012

NZ businesses that have been focusing on developing the non-cognitive skills of their workforce have seen improvements in all areas of their business, according to innovative learning and development organisation, The Learning Wave.

The Learning Wave have implemented a number of programmes that address the lack of non-cognitive skills in the workplace which was highlighted in a recent study by the Committee of Auckland.

The study found that non-cognitive or “soft skills” such as enthusiasm, drive, work ethic and professionalism are vital skills that are being sought after by employers, yet these skills are reported to be widely lacking.

The Learning Wave has been addressing this soft skills shortage with organisations for some time through its innovative programmes, and getting impressive results.

One organisation that has found success with The Learning Wave is infrastructure and resources company Stevenson Group Limited. The company participated in five one-day workshops which led to dramatic improvements in areas such as communication, literacy and numeracy skills, staff engagement and turnover.

The CEO of Stevenson Group, Mark Franklin, said the programme implemented by The Learning Wave has provided employees with vital non-cognitive tools resulting in improved productivity and motivation levels at the company.

“The skills taught were invaluable,” Franklin said. “For example learning communication skills boosted employee morale and gave our people the confidence they needed to ask questions, give feedback and have better relationships at work and at home.”

According to the Committee of Auckland report, infrastructure firms believe that they could increase revenues and improve productivity more through enhanced non-cognitive skills among their engineers, than through advances in technical skills.

Director of The Learning Wave Martyn McKessar agreed with this finding, saying there is not enough emphasis in NZ business on non-cognitive skills and this is reflected in the fact that cognitive skills programmes get the most funding from the Government, yet learning and development programmes that specialise in non-cognitive skills get a significantly smaller share of funding.

“The Government needs to place much greater importance on non-cognitive skills instead of pouring funds into cognitive skills and ignoring the very real need for non-cognitive,” McKessar said. “While cognitive skills such as having the competence to carry out a task are important for getting a job done, non-cognitive skills are invaluable when it comes to moving an organisation forward and adapting to the constantly changing world we live in,” he said.

“The key to moving New Zealand towards being a knowledge economy does not lie in cognitive skills, it’s non-cognitive skills that will get us there – and what we’re finding is the NZ businesses that are making upskilling in the non-cognitive area a priority are the ones that are making real progress.”

For more information on The Learning Wave visit www.thelearningwave.co.nz

Backgrounder

The Learning Wave is a learning and development company with experience in delivering organisation performance improvements. Their focus is on delivering measurable shifts in performance that produce effective organisational improvements and increase productivity.

The learning and development programmes are bespoke for each client and are linked to the organisation’s strategic outcomes. The Learning Wave work in partnership with clients to embed learning into organisational change and help develop their people. Their learning solutions range from executive leadership to learning design to workplace literacy.

Recognising that everyone learns at a different pace and in different ways, The Learning Wave pride themselves on staying away from off-the-shelf programmes and ready-made solutions. Instead, they look to create a partnership with clients that deliver results and helps drive positive change in their people.

ENDS

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