5 Tips for Launching a Skills Development Program

In today’s workplace, training efforts have taken on a broad range of applications, from instruction in highly specified job skills to long-term professional development.

Training and development have evolved into an integral component of your competitive business strategy. As noted by industry expert Charlene Marmer Solomon, “If you don’t actively stride against the momentum of skills deficiency, you lose ground. If your workers stand still, your firm will lose the competency race.”

In order to keep your competitive edge, what resources are available and how can you launch a successful skills development program at your company?

The Canada-Ontario Job Grant

The Canada-Ontario Job Grant helps you train new and existing employees for business-critical jobs. It was signed into legislation as the Canada-Ontario Job Fund Agreement with the federal government in March 2014. Its purpose is to continue to develop a Canadian workforce with the right skills and knowledge for the current economy.

  • Apply via Employment Ontario through the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.
  • If you have specific skill needs that can be met through an existing training program, the Canada-Ontario Job Grant can help. It provides funding to develop individuals that you identify.

Employment Ontario Employment Service

If you need to hire and train someone new, you can find an appropriate match through the Employment Ontario Employment Service by visiting their website. They will connect you with a service provider near you.

Steps to Launching Your Program

Can you afford to improve your training and development program? The fact is: you can’t afford not to. It’s key to your profitability, as it boosts the skills of your new hires and helps existing staff adjust to rapidly changing job requirements.

  • Assess your business and consider your goals. This will pinpoint areas where you need improvement and give you a benchmark against which to evaluate any training that you implement.
  • Decide whether to train in-house or externally. Weigh the pros and cons of each. On-the-job training allows people to learn while they work. Off-the-job programs, such as workshops and formal studies, may be more feasible if you have limited internal resources.
  • Measure the results. Recent research shows that only about 15 percent of companies measure the behavioural changes and few as eight8 percent measure the efficiencies or productivity improvements that result from training. Be sure that your initiatives are relevant and have employee buy-in.
  • Stay involved. Continually interact with your employees to find out what they’re learning and what they want to learn. Keep your managers in the know so they can serve as role models and show workers how to apply their new knowledge.
  • Apply the skills. Set up opportunities for employees to quickly use their new skills on the job. Help them to reinforce and refine what they’ve learned. If they don’t use new knowledge when it’s fresh, they’re likely to lose it. Continue to get feedback.

Turn to the workforce development experts at Employment Professionals Canada as you fine tune your training and development initiatives. We can help develop a program that meets your unique business needs and keeps your company current and ahead of the competitive game. To learn more, read our related posts or contact us today.