Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


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


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.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


DIY: Kiwi Ingenuity And Masking Tape Saves Chick

Kiwi ingenuity and masking tape has saved a Kiwi chick after its egg was badly damaged endangering the chick's life. The egg was delivered to Kiwi Encounter at Rainbow Springs in Rotorua 14 days ago by a DOC worker with a large hole in its shell and against all odds has just successfully hatched. More>>


Trade: Key To Lead Mission To India; ASEAN FTA Review Announced

Prime Minister John Key will lead a trade delegation to India next week, saying the pursuit of a free trade agreement with the protectionist giant is "the primary reason we're going" but playing down the likelihood of early progress. More>>



MYOB: Digital Signatures Go Live

From today, Inland Revenue will begin accepting “digital signatures”, saving businesses and their accountants a huge amount of administration time and further reducing the need for pen and paper in the workplace. More>>

Oil Searches: Norway's Statoil Quits Reinga Basin

Statoil, the Norwegian state-owned oil company, has given up oil and gas exploration in Northland's Reinga Basin, saying the probably of a find was 'too low'. More>>


Modern Living: Auckland Development Blowouts Reminiscent Of Run Up To GFC

The collapse of property developments in Auckland is "almost groundhog day" to the run-up of the global financial crisis in 2007/2008 as banks refuse to fund projects due to blowouts in construction and labour costs, says John Kensington, the author of KPMG's Financial Institutions Performance Survey. More>>


Health: New Zealand's First ‘No Sugary Drinks’ Logo Unveiled

New Zealand’s first “no sugary drinks logo” has been unveiled at an event in Wellington... It will empower communities around New Zealand to lift their health and wellbeing and send a clear message about the damage caused by too much sugar in our diets. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news