Human resources development (HRD) is at the core of all TVET operations. Training plans and course design for staff training make sense only in the context of long term staff development with training related to the specific accountabilities of different staff functions.
Among its many functions, a Human Resources Department plans the use of the training and allocates the training in a manner consistent with employment requirements.
Without such a structure, training is simply a random series of unplanned or panic planned events, is not recorded, is not related to performance, has no particular impact on employee performance, and is unsustainable.
Thus, the development of a strong Human Resources Department is fundamental to not only the success of any training program, but to the future of a national TVET strategy.
Generally, human resources development systems are put in place to comply with the requirements of external authority and have little meaning outside of that context.
What makes sense is to build a human resources development system that meets the minimum data requirements to satisfy labor law, but the absolute maximum of opportunity to link staff to appropriate development opportunities related to performance enhancement, job growth and preparation for advancement.
Beyond effective senior management, an effective HRD program has the following components:
- clear and accurate job descriptions for each position;
- annual, organization wide strategic targets as a context for setting individual objectives;
- an Employee Development Plan for each staff member based on the SAVBs (skills, attitudes, values and behaviours) required to deliver the accountabilities of the current job and the additional skills needed for promotion;
- a simple, annual performance review system based on the setting of individual performance objectives in each area of the employees accountability and then measures performance on the achievement of these objectives. The document then links to Employee Development Plan so that shortfalls in performance, can be linked to a training or non training response;
- an annual meeting between the employee and the supervisor to review the completed SAVB analysis and agree on the development plan for the forthcoming year;
- a training program for staff based on the generic components of jobs and divided into three categories:
- SAVBs required by all employees,
- SAVBs required by employees of a specific job level, and
- SAVBs required by a specific job.
- a training schedule made available to staff and supervisors each year which shows the availability and timing of all training events with the generic skills required by each employment level;
- the inclusion of employees in the SAVB training required for the next level up as preparation for promotion;
- the linking of training, where possible, to credit towards a recognized credential (diploma, degree etc.);
- a commitment by the institution of department to a planned program of staff development based on enhancing staff performance in current jobs and preparing staff for future roles; and
- a centralized record keeping system for each employee which contains a continuing record of training undertaken.
By linking training to specific accountabilities, institutions and departments would greatly strengthen its overall performance.
It would also reflect in its own behaviour the importance of employer commitment to training that it is promoting to industry. Using itself as a model, it could then work with enterprise and government organizations to develop similar plans and to allow TVET providers to deliver skills training that appeared as requirements for these other organizations.
Within the organization, the allocation of training opportunities will be more rationalized. The development of such a system will take time but if you don’t start now, it will just get harder.