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Training demand up among miners

DEMAND is growing for management and leadership-style courses, particularly within Western Australia’s mining industry.

While demand has been high for university programs such as Master of Business Administration courses, there also has been a strong interest shown in training programs offered by non-university organisations.

The Australian Institute of Company Directors reported a huge demand for its courses, in particular its flagship company directors course, which has a three-month waiting list for places.

While the AICD does not have a specific leadership course, it does have strategic planning units within several of its courses, including its company directors course.

Demand for the AICD courses, which place a high emphasis on corporate governance, peaked last year as companies tried to come to terms with the fallout from the high-profile collapses of companies such as Enron, HIH and Harris Scarfe.

The Australian Institute of Management has had huge demand for its public and customised management and leadership programs, particularly from the mining sector.

AIM deputy executive director training and development, Richard Duldig, said there had been a lot of demand for management and leadership training, particularly for frontline managers.

“We are seeing a lot of interest on some of the leadership disciplines; the courses that look at things such as what makes a successful company,” he said.

“There has also been a lot of emphasis on front-line management.

“They are looking for courses that have an immediate application to the workplace.”

Mr Duldig said the institute’s fastest growing area had been customised training.

“We sit down with the company directors and look at the training needs for their company,” he said.

“We’re able to apply the lessons learnt from our public courses to the company’s needs.”

Modal managing director Russell Rieck said demand for leadership courses was high in certain industries.

He said the demand was particularly noticeable in the mining sector and was focused towards the frontline supervisor end.

“I think that is a function of the mining industry understanding what people can add to the business,” Mr Rieck said.

“In other industries it depends on the managing director or the CEO and whether they think their people are valuable to their business.

“Western Power has just spent a lot of money on training. Woodside has spent a lot.”

Mr Duldig said there was a definite trend towards the development of people but it was mainly from the well performing companies.

“I think companies are starting to take more of an interest in their people,” he said.

“There are a lot of examples where companies that have developed their people along with the company have done well.

“Also, companies are doing more with less, so there is big demand for more highly-trained staff.

“However, the companies taking on our customised training programs tend to be those companies that are seen to be more successful anyway.”

p          Next week: What is the value of an MBA?

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