South African Journal of Higher Education

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A multi-skilling model to supplement artisan training

RWE van der Wal, RJ van der Wal


Over the past 40 years a number of management, education and training fashions and fads have appeared. Critics argue that management adopts quick fixes and that new techniques may not represent permanent solutions. Others feel that managers adopt new techniques because they are working towards continuous improvement in a highly uncertain world. Remember that you can only achieve continuous improvement through training and development of the people in the organization. It is important that the appropriate training and assessing approaches should be used in the training and development of the multi-skilled artisan. The time ratio for training compared to development could be 70% to 30%. What is multi-skilling? Each and every person will have his/her own perception of this concept. A multi-skilled employee can be:

An employee who can do more than one job, like a millwright.
An employee who is trained in one job, but because of other inputs he/she can be utilised in different areas of the organisation.

For the authors, multi-skilling refers to wide usability and adaptability of the worker in the workplace. In the training and development of the multi-skilled artisan the core syllabus will be the training part, and the peripherals the development part as set out in the model. The artisans' definition of life skills did correlate very closely with the definition given by the authors. The artisans' use of the new terminology came out very clearly during the second post-test. The authors think that the application of the assessment model (collage) was a success and that the outcomes were reached.

South African Journal of Higher Education Vol.15(2) 2001: 204-216
AJOL African Journals Online