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Comprehensive Training Programmes Ensure Learners Entering the Market are Competent and Proficient
Wednesday, 1 July 2015
The ultimate goal of any training programme should be to equip the learner with the necessary knowledge, skills and ability required to perform their job in a safe, proficient and productive manner. Extrapolating on-site experience has allowed the Murray & Roberts Cementation Training Academy at Bentley Park to design and develop training programmes that seamlessly combine theory (passive learning) and practice (active learning).
Murray & Roberts Cementation risk manager, Tony Pretorius, explains that the success of the Murray & Roberts Cementation Training Academy’s training portfolio can be attributed to its situational leadership development model of ‘Tell, Sell, Participate and Delegate’. This is an approach that includes applied competency comprising foundational competence (theory), reflexive competence (understanding reactions to learning) and practical competence. This methodology forms the basis of training for shaft sinking, mining services, conventional mining, trackless mechanised mining, basic engineering and occupational health and safety.
All programmes begin with a theoretical component centred on a PC-based e-learning platform, which includes pictures, animation, sound and diagrams coupled with literature. Once this phase is completed, an MQA registered subject expert provides individualised coaching sessions for learners. Depending on individual learner needs, coaching will be either developmental (knowledge concepts misunderstood) or corrective coaching (realigning/correcting the learner with the theory).
The visual-based training follows the theoretical component to ascertain reflexive competence and is then followed by pre-simulation training, simulation training, and workplace in-learning using an actual machine under the direct supervision of a competent person.
While e-learning considers knowledge acquisition, the visual based environment brings about understanding through virtual training or simulation that measures performance against a set of practical outcomes. In this section of the training, the learner is taught that every action has a consequence. “This ensures that once the learners operate in the field, they will be in a position to take the correct course of action to prevent a negative reaction,” says Pretorius.
He explains that learners engage in video-type games relating to the theme of machinery operation. The current games only consider load hauling and dumping, thereby allowing the learner to experience a preview of their future job duties in this area.
The pre-simulation stage allows the learner to observe the experiences of other operators on the simulator. In this way, the learner is exposed to the simulator without the psychological pressure of operating the simulation equipment. Once the learner’s confidence levels have been increased, they move on to the simulation stage.
Simulators are ideal for assessing and training novices, and are also useful for refresher training and in scenarios where companies wish to eliminate any bad habits that may have developed over time. “The simulator impacts the visual, aural and haptic senses, so the learner actually experiences the tension of the controls and the yaw, pitch and roll of the machine. They are therefore able to familiarise themselves with machine operation in a controlled environment,” he says.
The Murray & Roberts Cementation Training Academy is ISO 14001: 2004 and OHSAS 18001: 1999 certificated and also has accreditation from the Mining Qualifications Authority (MQA). The Academy recently added a further feather to its cap with its approval as a training centre by the British Safety Council (BSC).
With a current capacity intake of 450 learners per day, the Murray & Roberts Cementation Training Academy has plans to extend its services beyond Murray & Roberts Cementation employees, to the South African mining industry at large. The Murray & Roberts Cementation Training Academy’s scope of accreditation with the MQA includes for the occupational health & safety at National Qualification (NQ) level 2.