Stressing the advantages of on-the-job training in the run-up to AEC

January 8, 201610:13 am471 views

In the run-up to the Asean Economic Community, there were many articles printed about the advantages and disadvantages of each country in Southeast Asia participating in this regional bloc. One thing that is clear is Thailand’s geographic location in the centre of Southeast Asia is an advantage that will allow it to become the region’s leading communication, trade and tourism hub.

Thailand is the second-largest market in the AEC. This is complemented by a sizeable workforce with the skills and capacity to work in many fields on par with other countries.

We can also see many other countries still lagging behind in how they develop their human resources, from their educational systems to how they think and research new ideas, and how open they are to foreign ideas, perspectives and acquiring new linguistic skills.

Each country’s competitive edge emphasises the degree to which it can create more complicated value-added products and services, rather than just growing and selling rice as in the past.

If Thailand does not improve the quality of its people, it will be difficult for our economy to compete in the future.

Therefore, Thai organisations’ hopes to fulfil their growth and expansion potential cannot be achieved without enlisting the support of capable people.

The race for quality manpower is especially tough since we have to face regional and global rivals that are competing for our best people, particularly for new high-performing graduates. Smaller companies that are deemed comparatively less attractive to new graduates are forced to employ less capable staff, which reduces their competitiveness.

One solution many companies have devised is providing training programmes to build their own talents from the ground up. This solution enables their staff to gain hands-on practical experience at work while they are being trained, as well as allowing staff to showcase their abilities faster than in a conventional setting.

AP Academy is one example of a corporate training programme that was developed with special curricula to prepare staff for the competitive market. The programme includes different divisions, so newly minted graduates hired as site engineers learn about quality control and understand construction processes and techniques, from basic to advanced levels, that are not taught to them in school. Those who are in the sales force learn how they should approach and manage difficult and demanding customers.

In evaluating and analysing the various needs in different divisions, these performance-enhancing courses were developed to allow new hires and recently promoted staff to get primed and ready to work as fast as possible. For example, the earliest courses for salespeople and engineers are geared towards boosting sales and maintaining quality standards respectively. Their performance will be evaluated within a set period and they will be given clear, constructive feedback.

There are many reasons for training staff on the job. One factor is the high level of competition, which does not permit companies to give their staff time off to train full-time. Besides being a waste of resources, companies run the risk of staff getting poached by competitors after they complete their training. But most important, training people while on the job is the best measure of their actual performance and building their overall competence.

The property business is in a sector that requires considerable manpower. Every single project that starts anew is akin to building a new factory, with project-specific teams of civil engineers, sales and marketing staff, because there are no staff transfers between different projects, since they will be needed by their respective companies as they continue to expand.

Therefore, in-house training is a vital way of increasing the efficacy and productivity of all staff as the company grows so they can function better – independently of the state of Thailand’s present educational system.

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