Training and Competency Refining the Best Asset: Manpower – New Strategies for Training and Competency

Author / Editor: P Vijayaraghavan / Dominik Stephan

Sourcing and retaining talent has been a challenge especially to the chemical and process industries, which deal with hazards and risks daily. Poised to grow at 11 – 15 per cent, with a future employment potential of five million jobs, the industries deal with this challenge through a systematic competency development – A strategy to make new talent ready and refresh existing practitioners to update,aiming at an empowered work place free of injuries...

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Training sessions need a consistent mix of class room training along with on the job demonstration to create the right attitude in trainees
Training sessions need a consistent mix of class room training along with on the job demonstration to create the right attitude in trainees
(Picture: P Vijayaraghavan)

Robert Fulgham’s best seller, ‘All I really need to know, I learned in kindergarten,’ implies that training and development are lifelong and intricately woven with our achievements. Chemical and process industries produce chemicals which have become an essential part of human life and is poised to grow at a healthy 11-15 per cent to $290 billion by 2017, with an employment potential of 8-9 million jobs. No doubt sustainability of this industry becomes the key to future development requiring transformation from technology to competency orientation.

This new breed employed in the chemical and process industries must work effectively with global constituencies, perform well under public as well as internal pressures, and rally organizations to make operations more safe and sustainable, as well as more efficient and profitable. Above all, an orientation towards safety systems with special reference to process safety management, operational discipline, etc., is essential to confidently steer the operations towards catastrophe free sustainability.

This is also mandated by regulators such as Directorate of Industrial safety & health (National) as well as OSHA (USA). Academic and technical institutions provide a good supply of freshers and need to be made fit to perform in the industry. The existing practitioners are already performing in the industry and need to be given refresher programs to update their skills as well as avoid complacency.

Enhancing Capabilities through Training and Competency Development

When a business organization demonstrates its capability to align strategic training and career opportunities for employees, it recognizes that the people are the real key assets driving the physical assets and the technology, covering both line and support functions specifically focused to their distinct roles. Each of these roles require different competencies and orienting themselves initially at the time of induction with subsequent retraining ensures not only certification that they are fit for the job, but also the confidence to handle key critical roles.

Human behavior is perceived to be very complex and competency development is the single most effective way of improving human behavior. Knowledge and skill equip an individual significantly, but it is behavior that directs them properly towards the right application every time. It is well known that human error is the major contributor to major catastrophes.

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