How do we produce
successful managers?
Joy van Biljon
Koue Bokkeveld
Training Centre
Motivators
• Shortage of managers
• BEE
• Massive expansion
• Example of occupational based learning
• DG’s speech :
- excellent street sweepers
- Ministers of thinking
System
• 20 students every 2 years
• “Juniour management” (Plant Production
NQF 4)
• Strict selection criteria
• Strong workplace emphasis
But are they successful?
• Observe stress problems
- debt
- affairs
- alcohol
• At work
- problems with details
- struggle with final responsibility
• Outsiders more status + promotion
What do we need to do
differently?
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)
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)
Because it is part of a holistic approach to the learnership,
one could argue that there is a 6th 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
D) PROFILE OF LEARNERS
Average age when starting the learnership:
35.4 years
SCHOOL GRADE OBTAINED
QUALIFICATION
N
Gr 5
1
Gr 6
3
Gr 9
2
Gr 10
2
Gr 11
1
Gr 12
10
Gr 12 + Teaching diploma
1
TOTAL
20
POST-SCHOOL QUALIFICATION OBTAINED AT KBOS
QUALIFICATION
N
ABET matric
5
NQF1
8
ABET matric + NQF1
1
Other
4
TOTAL
18
POSITION AT START OF LEARNERSHIP
POSITION
N
Orchard monitor
1
Pest control operator
1
Foreman
2
Supervisor
9
Senior supervisor
1
Production assistant
1
Junior production manager
1
Section manager
2
Production manager
2
TOTAL
20
POSITION AFTER LEARNERSHIP
POSITION
N
Tractor driver
1
Senior foreman
2
Production assistant/Assistant production
manager/Junior production manager
11
Pack store manager
1
Production manager
5
TOTAL
20
PROMOTION AFTER LEARNERSHIP
Number promoted after completing learnership:
15/20
ANY SHORTCOMINGS IN THE COURSE WORK?
RESPONSE
N
Yes
9
None
11
TOTAL
20
WHICH?
SHORTCOMING
N
Calibration (Pest control)
2
Land reform
1
Soil science
1
Coordination of course work and field days
1
African languages
1
Too many modules
1
More practical demonstration of what we learn in class
2
Computer lessons too basic
2
Budgeting
1
COULD YOU DO THE PRACTICAL ASSIGNMENTS
WITHOUT ANY DIFFICULTY?
RESPONSE
N
Yes
9
No, we had too little time
3
No, management was not (fully) cooperative (re
farm data)
7
No, did not feel capable at the time
1
TOTAL
20
WAS IT EASY OR DIFFICULT TO DO THE ‘BIG’
ASSIGNMENT?
RESPONSE
N
Easy
14
Difficult
6
TOTAL
20
WHY IT WAS DIFFICULT
REASON
N
Was not computer literate
1
Access to computer difficult
1
Difficult to integrate parts
1
Management was not supportive (enough)
2
Too little time
1
TOTAL
6
HAS THE LEARNERSHIP ENABLED YOU TO GET
AHEAD?
RESPONSE
N
Yes
6
Yes, got promotion
10
Yes, financially
2
Yes, have more knowledge
6
Yes, made new friends
1
Yes, have more responsibility
2
Yes, have achieved something
1
Yes, have better relations with subordinates
2
Yes, more confident
2
Yes, I can organize and plan better
1
Yes, have grown in general
1
No
1
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO STUDY?
COURSE
N
Production management
2
NQF5
11
How to be a director
1
African languages
1
Computer skills
2
Depends, only if it results in promotion
1
Heavy vehicle driver’s license
1
Senior farm management
1
TOTAL
20
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
• 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
• 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
• Subsequent to completing the NQF4, most of the exstudents 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
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
AS THE LEARNER’S SUPERIOR WERE YOU EQUIPPED
TO HELP HIM/HER?
RESPONSE
N
Yes
3
No
6
NA
11
TOTAL
20
WAS THERE A NOTICABLE IMPROVEMENT IN THE LEARNER’S
MANAGERIAL CAPABILITY AFTER COMPLETING THE COURSE?
RESPONSE
N
Yes
8
No, was already at high level
1
NA
11
TOTAL
19
HOW COULD THE COURSE BE IMPROVED?
RESPONSE
N
Inform us better, involve us more
3
Have one consolidated course outline
1
Too generic, make it more applicable to specific agricultural
area
1
Must connect to optimal practical situation
1
Must be updated frequently
2
Select students more carefully
2
Spent more time on thinking
1
Make sure family grows together with learner
1
Spent more time on budgeting
1
HOW DOES HE/SHE COMPARE TO OTHER MANAGERS
AT THE SAME LEVEL?
RESPONSE
N
Can’t compare; he/she is the only one
3
Can’t compare, he/she is not in management post
1
He/she is better
9
Better in some respects, weaker in others
3
Average, if compared to other farms
1
Don’t know, but I have to explain everything
1
Don’t know, but he can exercise authority, improvise
1
Not as good as the other person
1
TOTAL
20
HOW DO YOU SEE THE PERSON’S CAREER FROM
HERE ON?
RESPONSE
N
Likely to get to the next level
Has potential to get to the next level
I hope he/she gets ahead
Unlikely to progress
9
4
1
5
NR
TOTAL
1
20
WHAT ARE THE CURRENT SKILL NEEDS OF ‘YOUR’
EX-LEARNER?
NEEDS
N
Computer skills
2
More practical experience
3
Better mathematical skills
1
Better ability to manage subordinates
2
Better managerial ability
2
Better communication skills
1
Better ability to take into account vehicle/transport costs
1
Better ability to work independently
1
Better ability to think abstractly
1
Greater flexibility
1
Managing his/her image
1
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
• 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’
• 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’
• 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?
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
Provider challenges
1. Caught between production
needs, seta needs and student
ambitions
2. Massive gaps
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
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.
private
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 !
dept
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
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?
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
Private providers
AgriSETA
- Can this project make a - Focus on targets
profit?
- Why should I
- Interns
encourage internships?
- -The client is king
- - The Minister is king
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?
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?
5. Agricultural anomolies
- Compare to training for Checkers
(secondary agric?)
- Training for farm manager
- Admin role of farmer
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
Current attitude?
• Unenthusiastic
• In need of clear guidance (how-to rather
than philosophy)
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How do we produce successful managers?