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Helping managers to stay in touch

AN innovative Perth touch-typing school believes business managers are wasting four weeks each year because they cannot touch type.

KeyFast Training business development manager Bilinda Duirs said conservative estimates, based on middle and senior managers typing four emails a day with only two fingers, found they would have 28 extra days available to them annually if they could touch type.

KeyFast Training promises to teach managers how to touch type in just four hours. Ms Duirs said she recognised CD ROM typing programs weren’t working and managers didn’t have the time to attend weekly typing classes.

“We are providing what the other typing programs and CDs aren’t, and that’s motivation,” she said. “My aim is to help people become more efficient and productive in the workplace. At work we are expected to answer the phone nicely, pass on messages, turn up to work promptly and it all makes you

a proficient worker, yet no one would think to make sure you can type.”

Ms Duirs said middle-aged managers were the target market for the company’s four-hour tuition. The managers were more likely to have entered the workforce before computers were widely used. They also were more likely to have secretaries or PAs do any typing for them.

“But with the popularity of electronic mail, managers are now expected to draft emails,” she said.

Ms Duirs said the window of opportunity for targeting managers was about 10 years.

“After that you’re going to have a lot of people coming out of school and university into the workforce who already know how to touch type,” she said.

KeyFast, a subsidiary of Paypac Payroll Services, has been offering the course for several months.

It was adapted from a similar program run by a Paypac contractor and now has three tutors.

“I put a lot of the success of the program down to the way we integrate the keys. There’s no typing the same letter over and over again. Instead people type a lot more words, which helps with the orientation with each key,” Ms Duirs said.

“Plus we keep the class sizes to eight, so if there are any problems with keys, the trainer can pick that up.

“In the classes, participants practise relevant words. A class made up of participants from the finance or banking industry would practise typing words relating to that sector.”

Ms Duirs would not comment on how fast the participants could touch type after a four-hour class. She said it was more important they had the skill, which they could build on with follow up exercises.

“We give you the skill to type,” she said. “A CEO only needs to know where all the keys are on the keyboard. One of the huge benefits of touch typing is you can focus on your ideas rather than the keyboard.”

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