In the wake of the country’s imminent shutdown, schools, universities and high learning institutions have had to very quickly implement processes and systems to enable the South African youth to continue with their learning programs. As important as these changes and adaptions are for the learners to embrace, it is too important for businesses running learnership programmes to be cognisant of changes they may need to (or not) consider. SDC (Skills Development Corporation) share their recommendation on what these are:
Continue to support your learners
Although SDC has a robust contingency plan in place for learners to continue with their programs, it’s important that clients continue to support the learners with their stipend payments. These payments are being used to keep these learners connected and engaged in an online environment
Coronavirus is forcing business to embrace 4IR
In an age where you can do almost anything online, online learning forms a massive part of the first evolution of this paradigm shift. SDC, as an example has implemented the necessary 4IR technologies across their learning systems and tools that make it easy to adapt to an online facilitation and learning environment. “The initial social distancing then imminent lockdown has forced us to spearhead the introduction of 4IR tech within our organisation,” says Gareth Bird, Chief Operating Officer for SDC. “Although the plans have been part of our 2020 strategy anyway, we’ve simply needed to fast-track the roll out,” says Gareth
There’s no ‘I’ in TEAM
“Our staff and our service is of utmost importance during this time – without them there is no business,” says Gareth. Considering this, SDC has equipped their teams and suppliers with the necessary functionality to operate from their lockdown locations as best they can and continue with ‘business as usual’ once the lockdown lifts. We encourage other institutions to adopt the same sentiment for their business eco-systems too.
Communication is key
Assign your teams to specifically engage with the necessary internal and external stakeholders, clients and learners. When people are unsure of, or don’t have enough information, panic and anxiety follow so make sure that personal relationships are forged, and communication channels are kept open and clear.
Prepare your business for post COVID-19
As companies recover from COVID-19, it’s important that the necessary contingency plans are put in place as quickly as possible to manage the ‘after-math’. Although government has offered some relief during this period, it’s important to remember the objective of what you set out to do in the first place. Try and stick to (as much as you can considering your businesses individual circumstances) this goal as much as possible and build a plan that will withstand the recuperation process