Facilitators and trainers are fundamental to the entire ecosystem of skilling and training. Enhancing the knowledge and skill levels of vocational trainers is imperative for India to develop a highly-skilled workforce contributing to the overall growth of the country and its economy. Emerging technologies, changing requirements of the industry also call for a continuous enhancement of trainer’s capacities. Therefore, training partners must upskill and reskill the vocational trainers for holistic development. Let’s look at how Tata STRIVE has been making pioneering efforts in training their trainers and equipping them with all the necessary skills and knowledge to become effective facilitators.
Redefining the role of a trainer to be a facilitator
The role of a trainer is undergoing rapid changes. A facilitator is not only expected to train the students but also to take up and perform all the activities right from mobilization to placement of a student. This is where a trainer’s role grows as a facilitator. To be an effective facilitator, one has to get trained in skills and acquire holistic knowledge rather than deliver what is expected of a typical vocational trainer.
“As soon as I joined, I underwent a 15-day rigorous training program that helped me understand the concept of facilitation skills. This was the first time I was being addressed as a facilitator and not as a trainer. Tata STRIVE not only focuses on providing quality skill training but also addresses learners’ behavioral issues and their complete metamorphosis into a value-creating professional. I, not only learned about it during my training but the Master Facilitators also ensured that I’m qualified enough to execute it in the Youth Development Module I was handling thereafter”, Ms. Suvarna Mungee, Facilitator from TSSDC (Tata STRIVE Skill Development Centre), Pune, expresses enthusiastically.
Moreover, the role a trainer performs has got enhanced and got even more crucial with advancements in technology and shift towards blended-learning models. “During the pandemic, intervention done by FD Team was very helpful and enhanced our skillset. This helped me to adopt blended-learning and become a Digital SuperSTAR. I find myself to be lucky being part of a talented team and an esteemed organization such as Tata STRIVE”, says Hari Konidala, Facilitator, TSSDC (Tata STRIVE Skill Development Centre), Hyderabad.
To empower vocational trainers with digital skills to meet the changing needs of a learner and the training ecosystem, Tata STRIVE has launched a unique program called ‘Become a Digital SuperSTAR Trainer’. It is a self-paced learning course for upskilling and equipping existing trainers with training delivery skills in the online medium. This course consists of video content and quizzes that make learning enjoyable and engaging for the learners.
Diversifying the role of a facilitator
According to NSDC’s Need Assessment Report on Trainers Skills, one of the key challenges and gaps found in trainers training is the lack of support mechanism for counseling and guidance of trainers to keep them abreast of changing needs of the training institutes and the vocational training. There exists a lack of institutions providing specializations in course designing and curriculum development, business development, assessment, and evaluation constrains the trainers to build their skills, knowledge and remain contemporary in the vocational training space. The effective way of addressing this challenge is to capacitate and engage trainers in responsibilities beyond training at the training institute level. This challenge is well-addressed by the facilitators from Tata STRIVE.
Delving deeper into how the capacity building of trainers is done at Tata STRIVE, Ms. Suvarna Mungee shares her own experience. “In Tata STRIVE the required handholding, support and encouragement were given so that I can pick on many different roles based on my skills, knowledge, and capabilities. There is a systematic process of facilitator development and everyone is encouraged to pick different roles and responsibilities”, says Ms. Mungee.
It is an impressive example as we understand with changing work environment, diversifying one’s skill set is not only necessary for the learners or students but is also highly required for the facilitators. This will also help the facilitators have a successful training career in the domain. As their role is no longer limited to just transferring the domain knowledge to the learners but to contribute towards developing a globally competitive skilled workforce.
To augment this, Tahir Rasool, Facilitator, TSEC (Tata STRIVE Extension Centre), Delhi, shared how he diversified his skills at Tata STRIVE, “From being an ILT trainer this is the first organization which provided me the opportunity to become the expert virtual trainer. Apart from the training profile, I have been able to enhance my skills of assessing the quality of training by becoming a certified Quality Assessor in the organization. In addition to it, I got some more opportunities, like to become the certified trainer for other domains like BFSI and Retail sector and also to become a certified human-interest story maker”, says Tahir.
Enroll for the Digital SuperSTARS program now – https://www.nationalskillsnetwork.in/become-a-digital-superstar-trainer-programme-by-tata-strive/
These stories and experiences of facilitators throw light upon the diversification of their role and effective capacity building. Even though trainers are the foundation on which the whole ecosystem of skill development stands, we often come across several instances of attrition among trainers. Whether it is because of the constraints in the remuneration or in terms of career development. Let us understand how Tata STRIVE is addressing this issue among trainers and attracting the best of facilitators in its training centers.
In response to this, Mustafa Rahman, Facilitator, TSEC (Tata STRIVE Extension Centre), Delhi, says, “Tata STRIVE is an organization where you can plan your long innings of growth. What I enjoy most is the fact that I am constantly learning new skills, both leadership and interpersonal as well as a lot of cross-functional learning which has helped in overall growth in my career. Within the organization, I have always witnessed a collaborative culture and management, which is focused on the growth of its people and the organization.”
“At Tata STRIVE, there is a direct link between employee satisfaction, effective allocation of CSR funds and close coordination with the stakeholders of the organization and I am overwhelmed to be a part of it”, says Tahir Rasool and we cannot agree more.
These success stories of facilitators are inspirational to many who are aspiring to be one in the future. It is also important for the training partners to perceive the role of trainers as facilitators and provide them adequate opportunities to enhance their skills and knowledge, by effectively collaborating with organizations, and by having in-house training and certification programs.