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South and Southern Africa is in a development phase which will see the need for technical training increase for the foreseeable future.  Serious lack of skills in many African countries has been responsible for retarded growth in many regions.

Rapidly advancing technological change will see that much of that training will be carried out in classroom environments, although the classroom is never the ideal venue for technical training.

Technical training is invariably “artefact driven” requiring trainers to carry large amounts of teaching resources. The problem is further complicated by the lack of properly equipped classrooms in which to present the training. Invariably, there is too little space and insufficient opportunity for all the learners to gather around a single piece of equipment. Similarly, there is seldom an occasion where each learner will have his own piece of equipment on which to learn and work.

In order to make technical training meaningful, an approach is required which allows the leaner to revisit many of the activities and learning experiences which he/she may have had during the day.

The need for excellent learning media in the form of manuals and support material is therefore a concept from which it will be difficult to break away in the short term.

Trainer and learner manuals must be planned and structured in such a way that the trainer is not able to simply lecture the material in the manual. This technique will bore the learner and simply not enhance the learning experience.

Thane Engineering Support Services designs materials that are very graphic in their makeup and cover all aspects of the technical training to be presented. The material is outcomes-based and each section is started with a problem to be solved. In solving the problem, the learner must think, make use of other media provided in the learning environment and interact with fellow learners. Replication of typical work-related problems gives the learner an opportunity to apply previously learned knowledge.

Where resources permit, a multi-media approach to solving the problems ensure that a range of skills are learnt and practiced during each intervention. Learners begin to see that they do not need to be dependent on the trainers for all the answers. They are able to research and find the answers within the range of material at their disposal, much like the working environment.

Within all technical training, an element of technical management is introduced. This allows learners to grasp the concept of upstream planning to eliminate downstream problems.

To further enhance the technical training function, Thane Engineering Support Services provides training for the technical trainer. This training is conducted in Cape Town and makes extensive use of modern technology to give trainers continuous feedback on their progress.

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