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How do we produce successful managers? Joy van Biljon Koue Bokkeveld Training Centre.

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Presentation on theme: "How do we produce successful managers? Joy van Biljon Koue Bokkeveld Training Centre."— Presentation transcript:

1 How do we produce successful managers? Joy van Biljon Koue Bokkeveld Training Centre

2 Motivators Shortage of managers BEE Massive expansion Example of occupational based learning DG’s speech : - excellent street sweepers - Ministers of thinking

3 System 20 students every 2 years “Juniour management” (Plant Production NQF 4) Strict selection criteria Strong workplace emphasis

4 But are they successful? Observe stress problems - debt - affairs - alcohol At work - problems with details - struggle with final responsibility Outsiders more status + promotion

5 What do we need to do differently?

6 B) THE LEARNERSHIP The learnership consists of 5 components: 1)Course work (i.e. modules) 2)Practical assignments (relating to farm operations) 3)‘Field days’ (i.e. visits to farms in the region for the sake of practical illustration of the course work, e.g. soil science)

7 4) Excursion to Cape Town and Stellenbosch 5) The ‘big’ assignment (in which students must demonstrate that they can manage an orchard from beginning to end, i.e. from planning the layout of the orchard to production and marketing)

8 Because it is part of a holistic approach to the learnership, one could argue that there is a 6 th component, viz.: 6) ‘Voluit Vrou’: a course designed for the learners’ partners which is intended to assist in ‘managing’ their relationship for the duration of the course and after, when the partner may move into a new managerial role

9 D) PROFILE OF LEARNERS Average age when starting the learnership: 35.4 years

10 SCHOOL GRADE OBTAINED QUALIFICATIONN Gr 51 Gr 63 Gr 92 Gr 102 Gr 111 Gr 1210 Gr 12 + Teaching diploma1 TOTAL20


12 POSITION AT START OF LEARNERSHIP POSITIONN Orchard monitor1 Pest control operator1 Foreman2 Supervisor9 Senior supervisor1 Production assistant1 Junior production manager1 Section manager2 Production manager2 TOTAL20

13 POSITION AFTER LEARNERSHIP POSITIONN Tractor driver1 Senior foreman2 Production assistant/Assistant production manager/Junior production manager 11 Pack store manager1 Production manager5 TOTAL20

14 PROMOTION AFTER LEARNERSHIP Number promoted after completing learnership: 15/20


16 WHICH? SHORTCOMINGN Calibration (Pest control)2 Land reform1 Soil science1 Coordination of course work and field days1 African languages1 Too many modules1 More practical demonstration of what we learn in class2 Computer lessons too basic2 Budgeting1

17 COULD YOU DO THE PRACTICAL ASSIGNMENTS WITHOUT ANY DIFFICULTY? RESPONSEN Yes9 No, we had too little time3 No, management was not (fully) cooperative (re farm data) 7 No, did not feel capable at the time1 TOTAL20


19 WHY IT WAS DIFFICULT REASONN Was not computer literate1 Access to computer difficult1 Difficult to integrate parts1 Management was not supportive (enough)2 Too little time1 TOTAL6

20 HAS THE LEARNERSHIP ENABLED YOU TO GET AHEAD? RESPONSEN Yes6 Yes, got promotion10 Yes, financially2 Yes, have more knowledge6 Yes, made new friends1 Yes, have more responsibility2 Yes, have achieved something1 Yes, have better relations with subordinates2 Yes, more confident2 Yes, I can organize and plan better1 Yes, have grown in general1 No1

21 WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO STUDY? COURSEN Production management2 NQF511 How to be a director1 African languages1 Computer skills2 Depends, only if it results in promotion1 Heavy vehicle driver’s license1 Senior farm management1 TOTAL20

22 F) SUMMARY Most ex-learners did the NQF4 course with the hope of getting promoted and obtaining the kinds of rewards that promotion brings with it: more responsibility, higher income etc. For most of the ex-learners this hope turned into reality after completing the course, although not always immediately Given this outcome, it is not surprising that the majority of ex-learners feel that the sacrifices they had to make, were worthwhile

23 Aspects of the course that stand out and are highlighted by the ex-students are:  the orientation  the competence of the ‘presenters’ (i.e. lecturers)  the field days  the excursion and  the spirit and solidarity in the class

24 Also noticeable is the fact that most of them did get the support of their immediate superiors and even managers beyond their immediate radius of work The same goes for the support received from their partners; the ‘Voluit Vrou’ course plays a crucial role in this regard

25 Subsequent to completing the NQF4, most of the ex- students have not stopped learning, in the sense that they do short refresher courses from time to time Nevertheless, almost all of them expressed an interest in doing a course that would equip them with higher level managerial competence (e.g. NQF5?) If offered by the KBOS, most of them indicated that they may make use of this opportunity

26 G) MANAGER INTERVIEWS Only 9/20 of the managers were also the superiors (‘hoofde’) of the ex-students when they were doing the learnership As a result, it is only these managers that have been able to witness the ex-learner’s career and development since he/she started the learnership; the other 11 were not in a position to make the ‘before’ and ‘after’ comparison Nevertheless, we were interested in the latter’s views regarding the course and the prospect of ex-learners progressing to a higher managerial level



29 HOW COULD THE COURSE BE IMPROVED? RESPONSEN Inform us better, involve us more3 Have one consolidated course outline1 Too generic, make it more applicable to specific agricultural area 1 Must connect to optimal practical situation1 Must be updated frequently2 Select students more carefully2 Spent more time on thinking1 Make sure family grows together with learner1 Spent more time on budgeting1

30 HOW DOES HE/SHE COMPARE TO OTHER MANAGERS AT THE SAME LEVEL? RESPONSEN Can’t compare; he/she is the only one3 Can’t compare, he/she is not in management post1 He/she is better9 Better in some respects, weaker in others3 Average, if compared to other farms1 Don’t know, but I have to explain everything1 Don’t know, but he can exercise authority, improvise1 Not as good as the other person1 TOTAL20

31 HOW DO YOU SEE THE PERSON’S CAREER FROM HERE ON? RESPONSEN Likely to get to the next level9 Has potential to get to the next level4 I hope he/she gets ahead1 Unlikely to progress5 NR1 TOTAL20

32 WHAT ARE THE CURRENT SKILL NEEDS OF ‘YOUR’ EX-LEARNER? NEEDSN Computer skills2 More practical experience3 Better mathematical skills1 Better ability to manage subordinates2 Better managerial ability2 Better communication skills1 Better ability to take into account vehicle/transport costs1 Better ability to work independently1 Better ability to think abstractly1 Greater flexibility1 Managing his/her image1

33 H) SUMMARY Most of the managers we spoke to, hold senior positions at the farm (e.g. estate, farm or general managers) Most of the 9 ‘long term’ managers referred to above, thought that they were not well equipped to help the learner when the latter started the learnership Nevertheless, most of them did not find mentoring problematic, and did not feel that they had to make significant personal sacrifices

34 Although most of them thought that the farm was making sacrifices, most of them thought that these were reasonable By their own admission, most of the managers are not well informed on the course (modules etc.), and only a handful ever attended lectures or some of the field days Nevertheless, most of them offered suggestions as to how the course could be improved, with an emphasis on the KBOS ‘informing us better, involve us more’

35 The latter is a contentious point: is it a question of the KBOS not properly informing/involving managers (‘hoofde’), or the latter not responding to invitations/information? Only 9/20 managers thought unequivocally that ‘their’ junior manager was better than others in a similar position Only 9/20 were certain that ‘their’ ex-learner would progress to a higher level of management; 3 others thought that ‘their’ ex-learner had the ‘potential’

36 When reflecting on the reasons as to why 5 ex-learners were unlikely to progress, a lack of technical skills was not the most important one; more often it had to do with personality If one accepts this judgement at face value, it raises question as to what the KBOS could possibly do about it? Is it possible to develop even more effective selection procedures?

37 Conclusions Managers/ farmers are not unwilling mentors, but are inexperienced/ too busy - a huge challenge for OFO model Factors outside of learnership content must be considered Funding too little for all recommended services

38 Provider challenges 1. Caught between production needs, seta needs and student ambitions

39 2.Massive gaps

40 Private providers -Market dictates -Fast + “no nonsense” -Practical -Adapt to students -Minimum policy + procedures -Community perspective -No money – no work Dept -Dept dictates - Burocratic -Academic -Students must adapt -Extensive policy restrictions -Individual perspective -Work with poorest

41 RESULT: WHEN ?? The client is waiting! Make it easier! Another form? What does it cost? Remember : paper and transport costs money! NO : we can’t change the dates. The minister has suddenly called a meeting and we have to cancel. You still need to fill in form bvjg86785764! We can’t say because we don’t have our budget. That does not apply to our department. USE THE TEMPLATE ! private dept

42 RESULT: I don’t know what they expect me to do! What we are doing makes no sense. The private providers are uncooperative. private dep t

43 Private providers -What unit standard ? -What NQF level is an N level? - FET -It is not unit standard based. -What N level are you talking about?

44 RESULT: We don’t know how to involve FET services although we can see the benefits The private providers don’t understand how things work. private FET

45 Private providers -Can this project make a profit? - Why should I encourage internships? --The client is king AgriSETA -Focus on targets - Interns -- The Minister is king

46 3.Ignorence amongst providers e.g. - What exactly must a POE look like? - What does accreditation with Umalusi mean? - How do BEE scorecards calculate training points? -How does RPL work? - When is someone competent?

47 4.Providers avoiding the real issues - What is die demography where you work? -What is happening to brokers and seasonal workers? -Are real issues being addressed?

48 5.Agricultural anomolies - Compare to training for Checkers (secondary agric?) -Training for farm manager -Admin role of farmer

49 WSP’s Disgrace However : - no OFO code for “general worker” - for most SDF’s first use of OFO codes - big problems with name/bank/business format changes

50 Current attitude? Unenthusiastic In need of clear guidance (how-to rather than philosophy)



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