What should I consider when selecting technology training courses for factory and technical staff?

Introduction

A successful biscuit manufacturing business is the result of good team work. A team works best with a good leader. In biscuit making the leader (manager or supervisor) will have good man management skills and sound knowledge of the technology being used.

There is a great difficulty in getting good training in biscuit making technology except in large multinational organisations.

The considerations here for training courses are in biscuit technology training only, leadership training is not covered.

Before selected suitable candidates for training it is necessary to employ these persons in roles where they gain as much experience of technology as possible and then to build on this by sending them on one or more courses.

1. What training is required?

  • Decide what training would be beneficial for the candidate. For a younger person or one designated for factory management it would probably be best to get a broad view of biscuit technology.
  • Examine what the training course is designed to cover. Does it aim to cover the technology of a very wide range of biscuit types and manufacturing technology or is it limited to specific areas?
  • Does the candidate have experience of the operations to be covered in the course? Some background will allow him/her to benefit more from the course and to put aspects into useful context.
  • How has the candidate gained experience in your business? One of the best ways is to have employed him/her in the technical department so that there has been involvement in techniques and problems across the business.

2. The suitability of the course

2.1 Residential courses

  • In what language will the course be conducted? Does the delegate have adequate linguistic ability in this language?
  • Will there be adequate printed handouts to act as aide memoirs?
  • What is the practical biscuit making experience of the instructors? Do they have teaching experience?
  • Are any items of personal equipment or overalls required?
  • What is the course programme? In addition to formal lectures are there practical sessions, discussion periods and any visits to useful places?
  • Will there be opportunities for delegates to lead discussions or at least be involved in group activities? Involvement rather than passive listening builds leadership skills and confidence.
  • Will there be opportunities for delegates to have discussions about particular problems relevant to your business?
  • Will the course teach where and how to source additional biscuit technology information?
  • Is the course a proven event? Are any references available?
  • Will there be assessments that allow candidates to know how well they have done? Will it be possible to take away details showing how the candidate has performed relative to others on the course?
  • Does the course provide a certificate of attendance and satisfactory completion?
  • Are there likely to be any additional expenses not included in the course fee?

2.2 Social aspects of the course

  • How many delegates will be taking part in the course. The ideal is 10-15. Too few limits interpersonal experiences and too many might mean that the less able will not gain as much as they could.
  • What will the accommodation and dining facilities be like? Shared accommodation is not ideal and dining should be included to bond the group.
  • Will provision be made for delegates who have special dietary requirements and can these be arranged in advance?
  • What activities are planned or available for out of hours? The course is likely to be expensive so maximum use should be made of the time the candidate is in attendance.

2.3 Correspondence and on-line courses

  • What is the course programme?
  • How long does the course take?
  • Does the course progress via marked assessments?
  • Is there facility for the candidate to have personal correspondence with a tutor? If so how is this arranged?
  • Will the course teach where and how to source additional biscuit technology information?
  • See The Biscuit Doctor Technology Course details

3 Post course activity

  • What de briefing activity is planned at the delegates company? The course represents a significant investment so the candidate should be expected to share experiences with his manager or colleagues.
  • How will the company use the knowledge and experiences the candidate has acquired? Will the person be expected to teach others or be given a special assignment to use this new knowledge? The company should move forward in the hope that the reason for selecting the candidate for the course has proved worthwhile.