Reflections and reveries from the Urbane Society of Sceptical Romantics...
Monday, September 20, 2010
some obvious remarks about work practice, etc
Up to 81 kg this morning. When will the balloon burst?
Training for training continues. Before I get stuck in, some troublesome acronyms in the training sector. We might call it the VET [vocational education and training] sector, which you can find out about through NTIS, the National Training Information Service. Another useful information station is NCVER, the National Centre for Vocational Education Research. For specific industries, you can check out the ISC website, a portal for the eleven different Industry Skills Councils. For standards, qualifications, accreditation and pathways, the Australian Qualifications Framework [AQF] website provides much useful info. This is not to be confused with the Australian Quality Training Framework [AQTF], though it will be, because it's totally confusing, but maybe that will be unravelled later.
This field is of course littered with the corpses of defunct acronyms, such as ANTA, ASTD, NTQC [now NQC, the National Quality Council], as well as the acronyms for various ever-changing government departments that have connections with HRD [human resource development]. I won't provide all those acronyms, but my textbook, Training in Australia, the biblical text covering the field,has all the data. There's more to say on this stuff I'm sure, but now I'll go on with answering some textbook questions.
An activity: imagine a 24-7 convenience store, run by a couple, with three full-time and six part-time staff. Their turnover is around $1.5 million a year. They're about to automate their accounting system, having installed the necessary systems for electronic funds transfer. Discuss the workplace changes and training required.
The couple have manually handled their business since it began, and they recognize the difficulties involved. Clearly, general computer skills will be required, as well as skills possibly related to specific software such as MYOB. The processes of internet banking need to be developed, as well as computerized inventory and labelling. Those who work directly with customers will need to be efficient and relatively speedy at accessing computerized data and processing payments. There will need to be outlays for computers, eftpos facilities, software and the like. The staff will need to be conversant with laws or in-house rules relating to transactions [minimum amounts for eftpos purchases, maximum cash-out, types of cards accepted, validating signatures].
Another little exercise - how have things changed in the workplace since around 1980?
Before, the workforce was more stable, jobs were mostly full-time, there was full employment [well, actually that was more like before 1970] and job security or security of employment. There was some shift work, but work hours were standard, with the main employers being in manufacture and agriculture. Systems and procedures were manually operated and the workforce in general was male-dominated. Of course, we were operating in a cash society in them days.
After, service industries were the main employers, there was an increase in female employees and part-time work, systems and procedures were automated, we became a plastic card society, things became highly competitive, and work structures much more flexible. Operations were often 24 hour, requiring 24 hour staffing, though staffing in general was significantly reduced. There was generally less than full employment, though the whole concept of employment underwent considerable revision.